Writing is hard. There are more rejections than acceptances…there are times when you wonder whether you can do this…whether to keep going…whether it’s all worth it.

For me, it definitely is. There is nothing more rewarding than having someone love/be moved by/relate to what you have written.

Today I want to celebrate the success of three talented people who are very dear to me, who have worked so hard at their writing – and never given up.

Kat Apel and Karen Collum at the 2010 CYA Conference


My wonderful writerly friend, Kat Apel has had some setbacks in her writing recently so it was thrilling to see her take out the published author first place in this year’s CYA competition.

Kat has an inspiring post up at her blog about what this win means to her. She is a talented author who writes from the heart and her work deserves to be read. I hope she finds a publisher soon for her fabulous winning verse novel, Bully on the Bus.

Writing friendships are so important to keep us on track and motivated – and Kat and Karen Collum are two of the best friends a write could have.

Karen is also someone who works hard at her writing, looking after four young children at the same time …and often going without sleep.

Congratulations Karen on coming second in the CYA comp. I was very excited to come third in this category and stand on the ‘virtual podium’ alongside these two amazing ladies.


Many of you will know Jackie as the editor of PIO…a fabulous resource for kid’s writers in Australia. Jackie is also a wonderful poet. (You can find out more about her at her blog)

Jackie has kept writing and entertaining kids and adults with her hilarious poetry for years so it’s wonderful to be able to congratulate her on having her first picture book accepted by Walker Books. I can’t wait to read it.

Jackie has written a fabulous post, Never Give Up. Read her inspiring story here


Proud Mum alert warning here!

The third writer whose success I wanted to celebrate is my son, Nick who also placed in the CYA competition (Hatchlings) with his comedy adventure novel, Family Issues.

Now 13, Nick started this novel when he was 11 and is currently on his fourth rewrite. I am so proud of his persistence and I love the honest and lively way he writes.


I’m so proud and honoured to know these fabulous writers and I know that their success is a combination of talent and sheer hard work.

Here are some tips to help you when the going gets tough:

  1. Realise that you are not alone…every writer goes through ‘low points’. These are what make the ‘high points’ so special.
  2. Accept that writing is hard and subjective and just because your work gets rejected, that’s one person’s opinion and someone else may love it.
  3. Keep writing
  4. Keep writing
  5. Keep writing
  6. Find a writing buddy or group (real or virtual) that you can share your disappointments and successes with. It really helps to both vent and to celebrate
  7. If the words aren’t coming, start something new. Work on something you are excited about.
  8. Don’t expect overnight success but know that talent, hard work and persistence does pay off.
  9. Go to conferences and writing workshops where you will find yourself being inspired by other writers.
  10. Measure your success by creating something you are happy with. Don’t base your feelings of self-worth on the opinions of other people.

Happy writing and wishing you much writerly success:)



  1. Thanks for this post, Dee. It comes at a time where I’m feeling a bit daunted and disappointed. I’ve always been a great ‘beginner’ but not a ‘finisher.’ I have a suspense manuscript written, but I’ve had to edit and re-edit it so many times that I’m sick of it. I started another book and then another, as a result of entering a short story contest. I’m turning it into the first chapter of a book. So that means three projects. I feel like I can’t bear to re-edit or re-READ my initial manuscript AGAIN. I know I can’t quit, because it’s not an option, but I’m feeling overwhelmed by it.

  2. I love reading about the highs and lows of writing and becoming a published author, it gives me courage to keep writing, keep trying and be true to my dreams

  3. This brought tears to my eyes – not only because it’s uplifting and hopeful but because of the glorious support and friendship writers offer each other – it never fails to astound and hearten me. We are lucky lucky writers.

    I am thrilled and honoured to watch all of you talented girls in your writing journeys. It’s truly a celebration when one of our ‘own’ has a win!


  4. Big congratulations all round. It used to surprise me how many talented writers were friends before they became successful. Now I understand how it works. Like-minded motivated creative people attract others just like them. And sometimes it all comes together for all of them at the same time. Like this!

  5. I know exactly what you mean, Dawn.

    I have given myself permission to take a break from my manuscript and am enjoying the fact that I can. I think there are some other writing projects I need to get out of my system and then I’ll go back to it.

    You don’t have to quit your manuscript. You can just take a ‘holiday’ from each other:)


  6. Thanks Jamie,

    Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Thanks for letting me know about YAlitchat. Can you tell me which newsletter. I got my email newsletter today and couldn’t find anything.

    Happy writing:)


  7. That’s why it’s so important to have writing buddies because we know how difficult it is, how long it takes and how seldom it happens. But like childbirth, it’s worth it!

  8. Thanks so much Dee for writing this inspirational and motivating post.
    I agree with your philosophy of “NEVER give up”.

    Congrats to all the winners and place-getters …I’m so proud of you all.
    A special Congrats to Kat, Karen C, Jackie, Nick and you too Dee.
    Karen T 🙂

  9. No truer words ever spoken by you all. Love that we are all just keep on keeping on – together. The comarderie makes it all the more worthwhile for me too.

Comments are closed.