This is the second part of an interview with Lorna about her writing. Part one is here.
Lorna is a prolific and hard working writer who has written and published children’s books, middle-grade, young adult, and nonfiction sports books. In total there are 41 published books that bear her name.
Her family including her husband and three grown children are still her biggest cheerleaders as she continues to explore the medium of writing.
I met Lorna when she was speaking at a writer’s festival and we’ve been friends ever since.
It’s been my pleasure to share her story.
Q: Do you compare yourself to other writers?
I try not to compare myself to other writers.
I try to focus my own work and make it mine.
I’m happy for fellow writers when something goes well for them. I want them to do well. I think as a community we need to be supportive because it is such a solitary business.
Comparing and being jealous of other writer’s success doesn’t do anyone any good. Sometimes, someone gets a publishing contract and you don’t because maybe they are a hot button topic issue. Or your book just didn’t hit the market they want at that time.
It’s a crazy business, unpredictable, and if you get lost in the comparison game you are doing a disservice to your writing.
Q: What is your advice to writers who’re just starting out?
When you’re starting out, don’t forget to:
1) finish your work
2) edit it.
Did I say edit? Yes, I did but I’ll repeat it because it’s that important.
Editing is critical to the success of your writing.
You can’t edit your work yourself because you know it so well. It needs extra eyes to see inconsistencies, or how you can deepen a character.
I am the most impatient person around, and I have learned patience.
Let your work sit, fester, and give it time to marinate before shipping it off. It probably needs another edit. I learned this the hard way, and in my early work was always in a rush to get it out there. But, there is a fine line and you’ll need to determine at some point that you have to let it go out into the world.
Gosh, this writing is hard, right?
And rejection is part of this business.
I’ve published over 41 books, and just this week had around five rejections on my work.
I wrote an email to my agent and said,
Resilience and determination will win this game.Lorna Schultz Nicholson speaking about receiving rejections even though she’s had 41 books published.
Everyone can learn from this.
Rejection after 41 books, numerous nominations for awards, write-ups in newspapers, being on Best Lists, never, ever missing a deadline.
Rejection is part of the game.
To keep writing after garnering rejections or after bad reviews can be hard.
To keep going I always ask myself, “Do you like writing?” When the answer is always a resounding, “Yes,” then I continue. Or I try to stop. Then an idea comes into my head and I want to write again.
I have to remind myself that I love what I do and the thought of not writing is not something, at this point, that I can fathom. So to keep writing, I put my butt in my seat.
That’s my motto.
Put your butt in the seat and give yourself permission to write badly. But just write.
I’ve been really lucky with my work and next year I have a non-fiction hockey book coming out on Alexander Ovechkin and a middle-grade novel, both with Scholastic. I’m excited for the novel as it was one I enjoyed working on, plus it took a year from submitting to acceptance.
Did I say this is a business of patience?!!
Then we had two years before publication. But it will be next year and I’m looking forward to its arrival in the world.
Currently, my agent also is trying to sell two other novels for me, a picture book, and a non-fiction book. AND during Covid, because I’m not travelling, and don’t have any author visits or conference presentations, or book signings, I wrote an adult thriller.
Will it sell? Only time will tell.
Be patient, Lorna, be patient.
Here are a sample of Lorna Schultz Nicholson’s books. Visit her website for more information or to purchase.
Thank you Lorna for sharing your time, experience, and wisdom with all of us. It is sincerely appreciated. I know you’ll write that thriller! I’m counting on you.