An Open Letter to Writers at Every Stage of Publishing

December 1, 2016 | By | 23 Replies More

Kerry-Lonsdale_1Dear Writer,

Isn’t it amazing how we wake in the pre-dawn hours, or stay up well past midnight to write? We sit alone at our desks with our words, letting them flow as a plot unfolds. In time, a story transpires, a manuscript is finished, and a book published.

Writing is a lonely, isolated road littered with rejections, bad reviews, piracy, and poor book sales. It doesn’t help there are plenty of off-ramps along the way. It’s easy to give up when the road is filled with potholes, you’re the only car for miles, and your writing engine has run out of gas.

Yet, somehow, we pick ourselves off the floor after we fall, sit back in the chair, and write. Because there’s a woman looking to escape from the real world, even if only for a moment, a child who wants to discover a new kingdom, a man dreaming he’s the next James Bond or Jason Borne. They want to read our stories.

Thanks to social media, we are closer to the readers who love what we share, and we are closer to each other. The fibers that weave us together within our crazy world of publishing have grown thick and strong, connecting you and me in ways that a stranger on the other side of the planet can become a best friend without ever meeting in person or talking on the phone.

I haven’t met you, but I feel like I know you. Don’t you feel the same?

You have encouraged me to persevere, from the struggle of staring at a blank page to the wonder of holding my book in my hands for the very first time. You have taught me to do more than aspire to write, but to be a writer. You’ve paid-it-forward time and time again, using your knowledge and expertise to give me a boost up to the next notch on the publishing ladder. I can honestly say—and I hope you feel the same—I would not be where I am today without you.

So, dear writer, whoever and wherever you are, thank you for all you’ve done for me.

Thank you for waking in the predawn hours to get your words on paper before you make your kids’ lunches and drive them to school. Thank you for going to work all day, coming home, making dinner, tucking your kids in bed, kissing your spouse, only to wake the next morning to do it all again so that we can read the story inside you. Thank you, dear writer, for writing.

Thank you for staying up late in the quiet solitude of night to reach your daily word count. Thank you for putting your chapters on pages, revising those chapters, editing the words, and killing your darlings so you can write the chapter all over again. Thank you, dear writer, for writing.

Thank you for believing you are a writer when the words don’t come but the rejections do. For writing through bad reviews and poor sales, lost contracts, and dissolved author-agent relationships. For still writing when your editor leaves your publisher and your work is pirated. Thank you, dear writing, for writing.

Thank you for carving time out of your day to teach a workshop, critique a chapter, and beta read a manuscript. For sharing a post, retweeting a tweet, pinning an article, and re-gramming a photo. Thank you for sharing your book news and liking another author’s success. Thank you for launching your writers’ blog so we can learn from each other. Thank you for donating long hours to found a writers’ association where the only payment is savoring the accomplishments of your peers and knowing you had a hand in their success. Thank you for volunteering time to help plot a friend’s story, then spend more time working on your own story. Thank you, dear writer, for writing.

Thank you for sharing your excitement when you acquire an agent. Thank you for your congratulations when we land a book deal. Thank you for reading each other’s stories.

Because without you, dear writer, it would be too easy to stop writing when the words ceased flowing, and the rejections poured harder than rain, and the story we love so much never sees the light of day because it hasn’t found a publishing home.

Thank you, dear writer, for your perseverance. For not aspiring to write, but for always being a writer. For paying-it-forward and expecting nothing in return. It’s writers like you that make our industry so great.

You, dear writer, inspire me. It’s under your influence that I keep writing.


With Gratitude,


Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of  Everything We Keep (Lake Union, September 2016) and All The Breaking Waves.

Kerry is also a founder of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She resides in Northern California with her husband and two children.

Find out more about Kerry on her Website


From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behind effortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.


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Category: Contemporary Women Writers, On Writing

Comments (23)

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  1. What a beautiful post! It was exactly what I needed to hear today. Best of luck with your writing!

  2. Kathryn Biel says:

    This is everything I feel and do on a daily basis. So, thank you, for putting it so eloquently.

  3. Pia Kealey says:

    If I ever believed in serendipity through social media, my path to this oh-so-timely post – and what sounds like the exact community I have been seeking – is the proof. Congratulations on publication day for All the Breaking Waves, Kerry! And thank you for sending a lifeboat full of flowers to ten thousand lonely islands with this letter. Deep bows.

  4. Rosie Thomas says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am an old age newcomer to the world of writing, having only allowed myself to try, aged 63!
    Now just over 12 months later, it has taken over my life & I love it.
    Your words have inspired me to keep at it. I recently completed my first novel for NanoWriMo and was having a slight wobble, wondering if I have what it takes to ‘make it’ as a writer. Deep down I knew the answer, but crisis of confidence got in the way.
    I know that there are no guarantees about the future, or whether I will ever get published, but I do know that I need to keep at it.
    Writing has changed my life. Thank you for helping me find the courage to keep going.

  5. What a wonderful tribute. I’m sharing this on my Facebook page. Thank you and so nice to get to know you.

  6. Thank YOU, dear writer, for this lovely tribute to the community. <3

  7. Thank you, Kerry. This was so lovely. (Actually brought tears to my eyes.) Yes, we surely don’t do it for the money or the glory, do we? Your words are so inspirational. And yes, I too have so much gratitude for other writers. It’s so important that we lift each other up.

  8. Donna Hatch says:

    What a lovey and encouraging tribute! I’ve been feeling so down after suffering one pitfall after another in quick succession, and your inspiring words were just what I needed to help me pick myself up and get back to work.

  9. Tom Benson says:

    Thank you Kerry, for putting into words the thoughts of so many of your peers, including yours truly.
    I belong to the Indie Author Support and Discussion group (on FB and WordPress blog), which is the best writing group I’ve been with over the last ten years. The group does what it says on the tin, and it matters not the skill level of the members. We have novice through to traditionally published, including editors and marketeers.
    Thank you for an uplifting article.

  10. What a beautiful treat to read and digest and absorb and pass on. The online community has come through in big ways for me personally as I try to be brave and follow my dreams of a writing life. This will be another marker on the road I can point to and share with others who might be lurking, wondering if they’ve got what it takes.

  11. Zan Marie says:

    Thank You, Kerry! For helping found WFWA. For hugging the stuffing out of me at the Retreat 2015. For being a cheerleader for writers of all kinds, but for Women’s Fiction writers especially. It *does* take all of us to keep any one of us going.

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