Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guest Post: My Writing Path Part 3 by Robyn Jones

I'd like to thank Robyn for taking the time to write up this guest post. I hope you enjoy. This is Part 3 of the series. You can find Part 1 here.

My Writing Path (part 3)

Rejection. They say to be a writer you must develop a thick skin. Oh, sure since I haven't been able to do that so far, I'll just snap that armor into place. Tough or not, you're gonna have to put yourself out there. Query time!

I checked out all the books on agents and publishers I could find at my public library. I bought a how-to book on creating a winner query letter. And I had endless websites saved on my favorites list, all touting the perfect approach to writing this one page pot of gold. The bombardment of information sat in my head for months afterward because I couldn't write a single word. Writers should be able to do this in their sleep. But here's what I equate to creating a fantastic query letter: free throws.

I cannot believe I'm giving a basketball analogy, but here it goes. It's a memorized shot. You practice in the same spot, standing the same way. If you're on a team, you do this hundreds of times a week. It's the one shot where no one is in your face. Yet, being 60% at the line is star material. I've decided query letters are free throw shots. We have all the tools. We write thousands of words, build worlds out of nothing. We live in our heads a portion of our lives. Why not dream up this one page necessity? 

Despite procrastinating forever, I wrote my query letter (many times). I had others read it. I entered my most promising version in a query letter contest. They shredded me to unrecognizable pieces. I started from scratch, thought I totally rocked, and finally chose a dozen agents. The first rejection email broke my heart and made me feel unstoppable at the same time. I was a real writer. I even emailed a thank you note to the agent. So sappy. I heard back from every agent I emailed. All no's. How many root beer floats can a girl consume before someone in the right position and in the right mood sees something special in Anna (or Maggie)? I decided too many, and made the bold decision to become an indie writer!

Helpful Tips:

The tab key is not your friend. Whether you use Open Office or Word, when you get to the formatting stage of your book, all your tab usage will come back and haunt you in an awful, cussing (crying) way. Go to the ribbon at the top of your page, then format, paragraph, indents & spacing, first line. Type .3 or .5; both are standard. If you've already gone all tab crazy, go to find and replace. This is a tricky function to remove tab spaces. Experiment.

The days of hitting the space bar twice after a period are over. Single space or perish (okay, I got a little dramatic there).

The special characters function can often translate into weird errors when you convert to Kindle. Weird like fractions and a stream of dashes. I avoid special characters like the plague!

Everything is researchable (I made up that word). If you can't figure out how to do something, check out eHow or Youtube. I learned how to create a table of contents through Youtube. Also, the Kindle Direct Publishing community page is a wealth of knowledge.

About Robyn Jones:

I laugh when people fall down. It's a glitch in my programming, but even my mom has suffered this quirk. I have a BA in Studio Art from the University of Puget Sound. My boys make me laugh every day. I steal pens; I try real hard not to. I collect those free bookmarks at the checkout counter at libraries. I've had more stitches than anyone I know. I love stories; writing them, reading them, watching them. You can email me at

Blog / Twitter / Goodreads


  1. Love the helpful hints. I actually heard these before since I am in a critique group that has run into such problems when getting published.

  2. I love the graphics, Jaclyn! We don't need no stinking boy knights.

  3. LOL That's what I thought ;) Thank you!

  4. Oh that's cool. Sounds like a great group. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. Awesome tips! Love the drawing! I think that's the really hard part about becoming an author, rejection.

  6. Oh, that's interesting to learn about the tab key. Thank you for sharing your journey. :)

  7. I'm so glad you made the decision to become an indie, Robyn! I'm loving these guest posts! Thanks. Oh, you're not keeping count of the floats, right?!? ;)

  8. I hope not, I bet there have been a TON of floats on this journey. I'm glad she became an indie as well. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  9. I thought so too :D Thank you for stopping by!

  10. Awwe thank you! I think rejection is a very hard thing to deal with and she's right, everyone is expected just to put on the tough skin. Thank you for stopping by :D


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