Josephine Moon has written the most stunning, witty and enchanting debut novel.
Here she is chatting about The Tea Chest and writing.
Embrace the Crazy
I’ve been hanging around in the writing world for a while now and I’ve come to one firm conclusion: the writing world is just a little bit crazy. There doesn’t always seem to be a lot of logic in it.
Example: I once submitted a manuscript to a publisher and it was firmly rejected. About five months later, I submitted the exact same manuscript to their competition for unpublished writers (with the prize including publication), and was shortlisted for that competition.
Example: The Tea Chest was submitted to every manuscript development opportunity I could find, run by big publishing houses, and never even made a longlist, let alone a short one. It would be tempting to believe the manuscript was inadequate. But this book was signed by my agent off the second draft (also something you’d be told to never do) and sold soon after.
It’s all a bit crazy, isn’t it? And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Writing is an art form and art, by nature, doesn’t generally conform or follow logic or rules. The very job of art, you might argue, is to look at new ways of doing things, to follow instinct, to embrace the intangible and step outside the box.
And rather than be disheartened by this (surely, if I just tick all the boxes, make everything perfect, do a really good job then everything will work out as it should???), I think our job is to get excited because this lack of tangibles actually opens the door to what we all need… a little bit of magic. There is a lot of crazy out there but there is also a lot of magic and it’s looking for someone to gift itself too. The fact that you have a hundred rejection letters doesn’t necessarily mean anything because, remember, the normal rules don’t apply.
Embrace the crazy.
All you have to do is keep showing up. Keep doing the work. Keep opening yourself to opportunities and new stories and one day that magic will find you in this crazy little publishing world.
Now keep an eye on Twitter on Tuesday the 22nd of May between 10 – 11am. Jo is hosting a VIRTUAL AUSTRALIAN MORNING TEA to help raise money for the fight against cancer. Here is her page:
Now the Twitter handle for this will be #TheTeaChest and #TheBiggestMorningTea and you can follow Jo on Twitter at @josephine_moon. We really hope to see you over there!