Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nazarea Andrews & The Insecure Writer's Support Group

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. And I think it fits in perfect this week with my theme of staying motivated for the unpublished writer.  With all the rejection we're bound to get insecure from time to time. So today I have Nazarea Andrews who has been writing for ten years here to tell us how she stays motivated through all the rejection. Yesterday, I talked to Elizabeth Prats about the same thing and you can find that here. Since both of these ladies were so honest and candid with me, I'll be answering my own questions tomorrow. In truth, I haven't been writing as long and sometimes I get really depressed with the rejection, but rejection is hard to talk about. I think if they are so honest I should be too.

And here's Nazarea.

How long have you been writing?
Ten years. I started writing when I was fourteen, and finished my first manuscript when I was in
high school. When I was twenty, I took a two year break because of marriage and small children.
But two years was my limit and I’ve been writing again for four years. So ten total.

2. How many full length manuscripts have you written?
One in high school, and five in the past four years for a grand total of six.

3. How many times have you queried? And how many rejections have you received?
Oh, wow. Um, I when I first came back to writing I knew absolutely nothing. I made the very
newbie mistake of finishing a first draft and querying EVERYONE a week later—which resulted
in a ton of rejections. (I think something like 100 for that manuscript)
I finished a second manuscript and had fortunately learned more. I polished like crazy and worked
with beta readers and critique partners and THEN sent out queries. About 60, some of which even
resulted in partial/full requests (and by some I mean, a dozen-ish)
Then I wrote my current project. I fast-drafted it, then took almost a year to polish, rewrite, and
edit. I’ve sent it to about 25 agents, with a high (about 15) request rate.

4. Do you have an agent?
Not yet, but I’m hopeful. And hard-working. It’ll happen eventually :)

5. Do you ever get discouraged with all the rejection we are faced with?
Well, yeah. It’s impossible not to get discouraged every once in a while, I think.

6. How do you stay motivated?
Chocolate? Sheer-stubborn refusal to stop? My kids? All of the above? Writing is my dream, and
a large part of who I am. I work my ass off to find time for it and to make my dream of being
published a reality. A large part of why is so that one day I can tell my kids, ‘you can make your
dreams come true if you’re willing to work.’ The other part is I have a story. (well, lots of them)
And I want those stories heard.

7. Have you ever considered self publishing and why or why not?
Occasionally. Honestly, I still want the traditional route. It’s been my goal since I was a teenager. It
might seem like a silly reason to keep chasing, but I’m okay with that. I like my silly reason.

8. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Write every day. Read as much as you write. Decide what you want from writing: publishing, self-
publishing, the traditional route, whatever, and then work hard to make it happen. Find critique
partners who are more than just that—who are your friends. And don’t be afraid of a few ‘nos.
Everyone gets them and it only takes one ‘yes.’


  1. Well said :) (P.S. All I've learned is thanks to Nazarea!)

  2. This is great advice - thanks for sharing! New follower :)

  3. It will happen, Nazarea! Keep at it. We hear the stories all of the time, yes? One day it will be us. :)

  4. Wow, this is me, other than the part about querying 100 agents with the first draft of my first book. More like 15 agents with the 17th draft. Btw, it's not a good idea to query only two agents at a time and only send out more when you hear back from the previous too agents. At some point you are going to query a non responder or someone who takes 6 months to get back to you. ;)

  5. Great advice. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great interview. I've also been writing about ten years, but have only two finished drafts to my name. ;-)

  7. Awesome interview!

    With that kind of determination, I'm sure it will happen. :)