Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fabulous Five Lessons I Learned at the School of Hard Knocks -- By Anna Simpson

Today, I'm privileged to be a part of Anna Simpson's White Light Blog Tour.  In today's post, Anna shares some of her more embarrassing mistakes as a writer -- mistakes I suspect we've all been guilty of at one time or another.

Take it away, Anna!
Ken, thanks for having me.
I had my fair share of struggles when I decided to put my writing out there. I thought sharing might help others avoid some bumps along the way. So here are the hardest lessons I faced in the beginning of my career.  
1.      Don’t offer up my work to be read until it is properly scrubbed of all errors. I was very unprofessional at first. I lost a lot of support by people that would have helped me a great deal, but after reading me once they never offered again. I look back at some of my earlier work and cringe. And cringe some more at what I put them through.
2.     Be kinder with my critiques. My enthusiasm was limitless and I thought my job was to point out every mistake. Guess what? Some people were looking for praise and I didn’t offer any. Needless to say many ran for the hills when I offered to help them out again. I don’t blame them. Now I use the critique sandwich method. Praise-Constructive Criticism-Praise.
3.     Netiquette. (somewhat the same as number 2, but slightly different) I knew nothing about netiquette and embarrassed myself more than once in forums. It took me awhile not to hear crickets every time I posted a comment. No one could see my face and I hadn’t mastered the emoticon. My sarcastic sense of humor brought chats to a screeching halt. I suggest caution and only wished someone had warned me.
4.     Acceptance doesn’t mean I’ve made it. After having several shorts accepted I was shocked when I received a rejection. I thought I was done. That sting put me in my place and I’ve been cautious to keep my feet on the ground ever since.
5.     Not so hard but very helpful. Reaching out, networking, and blogging were the best things I could have done. Sure I fell on my face and was forced to rebuild bridges. I’ve grown and become wiser. There are so many more people in my life now and I’m truly grateful.

So tell me: what have you discovered that was obvious to everyone else but you? Anything? Come on, don’t be shy. 


White Light
Anna Simpson

Three Worlds Press

Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car.

What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers.

Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it’s haunted with guilt?


Purchase Links:

All Romance Books

real face of emaginette

About the Author:

Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she’s lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn’t able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown.

She is easy to find though, if you know the magic word — emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you’ll see what I mean. :-)


  1. I never thought of it as "netique", but that is a very appropriate word for what you describe. I know I'm guilty of pointing out what I believe to be errors. Learning to develop praise first. This approach also helps when raising children too. Best wishes on your new release!!

  2. Congratulations, Anna!
    I discovered that once you start, it's difficult to stop. People won't let you!

  3. I've had to learn to give more positive praise at the beginning of a critique. I'm usually so impressed by what I read that it never occurs to me that the writer might need to hear some feel-good words too.

    Thanks for the lessons learned, Anna.

    1. Everybody does. Another fact of life it took me a while to learn. :-)

  4. Anna, you're the Queen of Lists. Another great one--and love your book.

  5. Great advice. Number one was one I wish I would have learned sooner. And you're so right about networking and reaching out. It's been wonderful connecting with other writers and getting to know them.

  6. Great tips! My hard lesson would be to believe in myself and not look for outside validation. :-)

    Happy New Year, Ken!

  7. Your list is perfect. Here's to great success with your book and to a wonderful 2016!