Dear Unpublished Alli,
You have just embarked on a journey that will take you to incredible places in your mind, heart and soul; you will meet some of the most incredible people to walk this Earth; you will experience amazing highs and some heartbreaking lows, and even though you will sometimes question why you chose this publishing road you will never regret this decision.
Your first memory of your nanna will stay with you forever and it will inspire you through the hard times when the words won’t come and self-doubt threatens to cripple you. You’ll remember being four-years-old and lying on your nanna’s bed with her as you both make up stories about characters and their adventures, imagining their antics playing out like a movie on the blank bedroom wall. These moments will bring you close to your nanna, and you’ll treasure them forever, especially after she’s gone and you’ll cling to these memories like a life raft in a dark, rough sea.
In your twenties and thirties you’ll travel overseas and have adventures you could never have dreamed of. Go on those mountain climbing expeditions, move to South America and immerse yourself in new cultures, embrace your inquisitive nature and delve into history and uncover new worlds. Learn Spanish because you’ll become fluent and you’ll be able to converse with lots of people from various backgrounds and your world will open up like never before. These experiences will be the basis from which you’ll write stories set around the world with characters from an array of cultures.
Your first manuscript will be terrible.
And that’s okay.
You’re learning. Read lots, go to workshops and conferences and meet like-minded people. Be patient. Patience will be the silent sentinel that will get you through those years of trying to get a publisher or agent to take on your work. You’ll write three manuscripts and get close many times but not across the line.
And that’s okay.
Your time will come. All you have to do is show up at the computer every day. Make friends with other writers. The camaraderie you’ll experience and the friendships you make will last a life time. This is what makes writing so special. This is why you start a new story and you keep going, even though you feel like you’ll never get published.
And that’s okay.
Because one day with manuscript number four you’ll find a publisher who loves your work and will want to offer you a three-book deal. That will be the first of many contracts that will lead to your books being published overseas and translated into other languages. But first, you need to believe in yourself because if you don’t who else will? Have faith. And the biggest surprise of all? When you are published you will meet the most amazing readers and book bloggers and booksellers and librarians who will champion your stories and you will be forever grateful for their wonderful support and enthusiasm and they’ll endlessly inspire you.
All will be okay, Alli. Better than okay. It will be the ride of your life.
Alli Sinclair, an adventurer at heart and has won multiple awards for her writing. In 2018 Alli’s book, Burning Fields, was voted as #13 on the Top 100 Books in Australia. She has lived in Argentina, Peru and Canada, and has climbed some of the world’s highest mountains, worked as a tour guide in South and Central America and has travelled the globe. She enjoys immersing herself in exotic destinations, cultures and languages but Australia has always been close to Alli’s heart.
Alli hosts retreats for Writers at Sea and presents writing workshops around Australia, as well as working on international film projects. She’s a volunteer role model with Books in Homes. Alli mentors and does manuscript assessments and workshops for Writers Victoria and she regularly presents at writing festivals and libraries around Australia. Her books have been translated into many languages and they explore history, culture, love and grief, and relationships between family, friends and lovers. She captures the romance and thrill of discovering old and new worlds, and loves taking readers on a journey of discovery.
Her latest book, The Cinema at Starlight Creek is set in 1950s Hollywood and 1994 north Queensland and is a story about love, loss and hope. You can buy it here:
Follow Alli at: