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January 30, 2014

13 Mistakes I made on the way to publication by Martha O’Sullivan

I’d like to welcome a special guest today – Martha O’Sullivan. Like me, she is a writer, and today she’s talking about mistakes she made on the road to publication. I’ve made some of the same mistakes. Have you? Over to Martha…

Thursday Thirteen

13 Mistakes I made on the way to publication by Martha O’Sullivan

1. I thought I needed an agent.

2. I thought I had to go through traditional publishing and print channels.

3. I thought Harlequin ruled the world.

4. I should have brought The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglist before I wrote my first book instead of when I was editing my second.

5. I underestimated how generous, supportive and welcoming writers were.

6. I should have gone to RWA Nationals the year I started writing. I should have joined TARA from the get-go.

7. I should have kept reading. I started writing at night instead of reading.

8. I should always write the last chapter first. I should have known this since I find myself reading the last few pages of a book midway through chapter two.

9. I should have joined a critique group.

10. I should have shouted that I was writing from the rooftops instead of keeping it to myself.

11. I should have known the last rejection hurts just as much as the first one.

12. I should have known that writing the book was the easy part.

13. I knew how bad I wanted it, so I should have known I would do it.

But the one thing I did right? I never gave up! And here I am!

Have you made any mistakes during your writing journey? Are there things you would have done differently?

The Chances Trilogy by Martha O’Sullivan

Second Chance Chance Encounter last chance cov

Second Chance, the Chances trilogy opener, is a reunion/love triangle romance that keeps the shores of Lake Tahoe blazing hot long after the sultry summer sun has set. Chance Encounter, the trilogy’s second installment, heats up San Francisco’s chilly days and blustery nights with white-hot passion and pulse-pounding suspense. And in Last Chance, the conclusion of the trilogy, the snow-packed Sierras melt into lust-fueled puddles despite the single-digit temperatures of the Lake Tahoe winter.

Please visit Martha’s web site at www.marthaosullivan26.wix.com/marthaosullivan for excerpts, reviews and more.

The Chances trilogy by Martha O’Sullivan (http://twitter.com/@m_osullivan26)  available at: www.marthaosullivan26.wix.com/marthaosullivan

http://eredsage.com/store/OSULLIVAN_MARTHA.html Also available on: Amazon, BN.com, AllRomanceEbooks, Kobo Books and Bookstrand


Martha O’Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. So much so that she would continue the story in her head long after the last chapter was read. Writing her own novels is the realization of a lifelong dream for this stay-at-home mom. Martha writes contemporary and erotic romances with traditional couples and happy endings. She is the author of the Chances trilogy available now from Red Sage Publishing. Her current work-in-progress is a sweet and steamy Christmas novel set in Florida. A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Tampa with her husband and two daughters.


  1. Norma

    We probably all have shoulda coulda woulda thoughts in our field, and these look like excellent writer’s tips. My TT is up. What’s happened to our host?

    • Shelley Munro

      I don’t know, Norma. It’s a bit frustrating.

  2. Jennifer Leeland

    “I should have known the last rejection hurts as much as the first one.”
    And it’s WAY more difficult to swallow. After being published, taking a rejection is a little stunning. The BEST thing I ever found was those warm and welcoming writers who made my journey pretty awesome.

    • Shelley Munro

      Yes! I’m met some really generous writers who have helped me on my journey.

  3. Kimberly Menozzi

    So many of those sound so familiar – it’s not even funny (so why am I laughing???)!

    Great TT – thanks for sharing!

    • Shelley Munro

      I was nodding along to Martha’s list too.

  4. Colleen@LooseLeafNotes

    That some good succinct advice with some of it applying to writers of all genres.

    • Shelley Munro

      Yes, it does apply to any writer really.

  5. Alice Audrey

    The Emotion Thesaurus ? Tell me more!

  6. Heather

    Number three is definitely false, though they’d like people to believe it. Good for you for never giving up! I’m talking about groundhogs this week.

    • Shelley Munro

      I think this is less true now, but ten or twenty years ago, they probably did :)

  7. Shelley Munro

    I hear you about rejections. Each one is horrid no matter what stage you are at in the writing process. Picking yourself up is hard, but we do it and move on.

  8. CountryDew

    My biggest mistake was in leaving fiction for nonfiction. I am having a hard time getting back there.

    • Shelley Munro

      Sometimes you need to be in the right mindset. Have you tried writing short stories or flash fiction. That might get the creative juices flowing.

  9. Nancy Henderson

    I try to turn the “shoulda”s into valuable writing lessons learned.

    • Shelley Munro

      Good point, Nancy. They’re lessons learned that help make us better writers.

  10. Stephanie Sullivan

    “I should have known the last rejection hurts just as much as the first one” – Oh yes, most definitely. I’ve been sitting here reading this and nodding my head the whole time. I think all of us writers can sympathize with this list.