How to Confidently Start Your Publishing Journey 

After she retired, Clara Fay finally listened to the inner voice telling her to write. She was able to finish a manuscript and even had a developmental editor go through her work. Thinking her manuscript was ready, she spent six months querying.  

89 queries later, she still had yet to receive a positive response from any agent.

With the lack of responses, Clara felt discouraged and frustrated all at once. A thousand questions ran through her mind: What was I doing wrong? Did I query too soon? Was my novel actually not polished enough? 

Despite hiring a developmental editor, her manuscript did not garner the kind of positive response she was seeking in order to launch her book into publication. Every rejection felt like a personal insult to her. As her doubt grew, her confidence in her story and storytelling skills gradually diminished until publishing began to seem like a farfetched dream. 

Stuck at a standstill, Clara realized she needed a brand new publication plan. 

Then she met me at an online conference. After a chat with me, I invited her to join the Writing Gym. She accepted my invitation and, five months later, with a honed genre focus, had developed a completely different novel than the one she’s started with. 

A year before, Clara was bogged down by doubt and lack of confidence. Now, she is proud of and confident with what she wrote. Compared to her first manuscript, her second one was so much more polished, concise, and to the point. Every single line moved the plot forward–and that is where the biggest change came from. 

For Clara, the Writing Gym was a multilayered experience: there were good, positive things happening within herself, the emotional safety that our community gave her, and the trustworthiness that our professionals provided. 

The support and encouragement from the Writing Gym kept her motivated and inspired. 

We guided Clara to the right direction by allowing her to open up, free of judgment, and by seeing her as both a writer and a person. 

I would go back and tell my past self that there is more to the Writing Gym than meets the eye. You will be blown away. This program is different from other programs because it takes into account the whole person. It’s not just some bodiless person writing away. It’s not just about your education and knowledge, but also your wellbeing. The fact that you have someone there just looking after people’s wellbeing is completely different and absolutely special. And Annalisa’s whole theory of celebration is right on the mark, because we all tend to be so harsh on ourselves. When you take a moment to celebrate you realize ‘I am worthy.’

During her querying at the Writing Gym, she received a couple positive responses from different agents–the complete opposite of her problem a year later. Throughout this process, I helped her connect with agents I personally know from the industry to aid her in her publishing journey. 

Now, she feels less stressed about querying: “I have complete confidence in my letter, in my approach, in what I’m saying and how I’m saying it.”

Clara’s forward progress has been phenomenal. While she is still currently in the process of querying her first novel, she recently published her book, part of a 2-book deal, called Greater Than a Tourist: 50 Travel Tips from a Local (Greater Than a Tourist)

The Writing Gym helped Clara launch into her publishing career with ease so that she can move confidently forward on her publishing journey.   

Really think about what your goals are, where you are, where you want to be, and how you can get from point A to point B. There comes a stage when you do need that professional eye to take your work to the next level. You really do need professionals. Annalisa and her team are absolutely spot on with what they’re doing and what they are accomplishing and I’m delighted that I went to them.

If you are someone who struggles with finishing your novel or taking your novel publication to the next level, the Writing Gym may be the right fit for you. I’ve opened some time over the next couple of weeks to talk with writers who are serious about their craft. You can book yourself directly into my calendar, and we hop on a call to talk about where you are, where you’d like to go, and how you can get there.

mark of a cresecent moon award
Mark of a crescent moon book review
Clara Fay Book Cover
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