Monday, December 19

Don't give up, don't ever give up...


We're talking about advice this week, either the best we ever got or the worst.

I didn't even have to think about it.

I'd gained a lot of weight in the 10 years since I stopped smoking. The 30 pounds I always attribute to giving up cigarettes was closer to 50. I fit cozily into the "obese" part of the Body Mass Index Calculator. I'd lost weight before, several times, and didn't think it would be that much of a problem. But it was. I couldn't lose an ounce. Until my sister-in-law Lynn and I started Weight Watchers the same week back in July. It is a program I can live with and like and hopefully stay slim with. As of now, I've lost 40 of the extra pounds. I still have a ways to go--eating right and exercising. The picture on today's post was taken from the Nickel Plate Trail yesterday when I was walking, a true Winter Wonderland trek! I thought when I started the program, I'd quit when it got cold. But I haven't. I'm not giving up.

I started reading romances in high school in the late 60s, and I read a blue million of them even though there were things about them I found offensive--he's 34, she's 17, come on. Then the Harlequin American line happened, and I felt the first stirrings of I’d like to do this. I bought and read them as quickly as they came out.


And then, in 1984, there was Number 73. Muriel Jensen wrote Winter's Bounty. I was well and truly caught. She wrote not only what I wanted to read but what I thought I'd like to write. Muriel wrote about 70 books for Harlequin/Silhouette, and sometime in the 90s, I sent her a fan letter, not really expecting a response. But I got one. She sent me a long letter and a copy of a magazine--I don't recall whether it was Romantic Times or RWR, but I read it cover-to-cover, over and over.

Somewhere in that letter, Muriel wrote the words, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” I taped the letter to my desk, and the paper was yellowed and the ink faded before I sold my first book. Always Annie came out in 1999 and Muriel Jensen sent me flowers in a sunflower cup that still graces my bookshelf. I'm not all that successful as an author, nor do I expect to be, but I've also never stopped writing. I'm not giving up.


There it is, the best advice I ever got about writing. Or, for that matter, about anything else. I hope you take it.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks...I'll take that advice, because for me to give up after writing six manuscripts is NOT an option.

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  2. Good, Em! I'm not sure how many it took me, but it was numerous.

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  3. Great message, Liz! My romance writing inspiration was Suzanne Simmons (Suzanne Guntrum) who has passed away, but gave me such courage to write what I believed in and to keep going, no matter what. So, I'm going...

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  4. Suzanne was wonderful, wasn't she? I was at a party where she was once, and I just sat there and listened (and laughed) because she was so knowledgable and so very funny and fearless.

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  5. What a great story, Liz, and what great advice!

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  6. Great story, Liz!

    Super congrats on all that weight!

    I will never give up! Em, you have six msss? I have 15!

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  7. Nice post Liz! Isn't it great when you meet someone that has such a good impact on you? I love positive people with positive messages. The flowers was a really nice gesture.

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  8. Congrats on the weight loss! That's awe-inspiring all by itself. And your writing story is awesome as well. I love how the writing community is always so supportive of one another. There aren't that many businesses out there that are.

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  9. Very timely advise, in my case anyway. Thanks for the post.

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