I bet you have known a Patrick or a Patricia or a Patsy or a Pat of some kind during your time, haven’t you? Maybe you have heard of Pat the Dog, on the sitcom “Friends”?
I have known many “Pats”; all of the above, actually. When I returned to high school (I quit for a few years, and then attended an adult education center, from which I graduated before I went to university), my teacher, who become a significant mentor to me, was named Patricia, but I called her Pat. I also knew a Patrick, a Pat, a Patsy, a Tricia, and a Trish.
The most influential person, however, was my teacher, Patricia. She became like a second mother to me.
She also just happens to have the same name as the woman I sought out to answer a few questions I had about writing and publishing, and who actually answered my interview questions! However, she is not a Patsy… she hates that name! (She doesn’t mind Pat, though.) 🙂
Let’s all give a nice, warm welcome to author, writer and publisher, Ms. Patricia Sheehy!
(audience claps enthusiastically…. and cheers… and the crowd goes wild…)
My Interview With Patricia (Pat) Sheehy:
1. What advice would you give to a new/beginner novel writer? What about a blogger?
I’ve met a lot of people who like the idea of “having written” but don’t enjoy the process of writing. I always think that it’s sad to have your sights on an outcome when you don’t enjoy the journey. Writing a book is a long and sometimes painful experience, yet thrilling at the same time. For me, “having written” isn’t enough. So, my advice is this: write because you love it, not because you want a book to talk about at parties; come from a place of passion and determination, keep your expectations realistic and write for yourself, for the story you want to tell, for what burns inside of you. Be true to yourself.
I wrote my first metaphysical novel, Veil of Illusion, before metaphysical was a household word and was told by an editor at Bantam Books that it was compelling, much like the movie “Ghost”, but it had no place in the marketplace and they wouldn’t be acquiring it or anything like it. Editors acquire books, in large measure, based on where they see it on the shelves in a bookstore and how it stacks up in the marketplace. At that moment in time, I was ahead of the market. But look at how things have changed! What else? Write regularly, with discipline; half of success is showing up, not just dreaming of the outcome.
To quickly respond to the question of bloggers: that also requires discipline, even more so, because readers are looking for your content on a regular basis and you make a contract with readers when you start a blog. Bloggers need to understand their audience, what benefit they are providing in terms of content, and then they must keep their promise.
Writing has four sides: craft, art, business and pleasure. Every writer needs to delve deep within themselves to understand what they want from the experience and how much they are willing to give to achieve their definition of success.