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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2018 > The failure I HAD TO HAVE

The failure I HAD TO HAVE

Julia Kite describes how she had to watch her dreams disintegrate before she could make a success of her first novel


I’m glad I had to fail miserably.

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have said this. The thought of it would have sent me into a panic, and then into a depression. I was always the precocious child, the clever one at school, the girl with her nose always in a book except for the times I had my hand scribbling stories across a notebook. Failure wasn’t in my vocabulary when it came to anything related to writing – or really anything academic. I almost took it as a given that I would have a book published while still relatively young.

In retrospect, that was a silly and naive expectation. Even reading over those last few sentences makes me cringe at how entitled it all sounds. Sure, I read about the changing dynamics of book publishing, but I assumed I would be able to get an agent and get a book deal anyway. I had no idea, as a 22-year-old sending out her manuscript to agents for the first time, that I would hit one brick wall after another. Rejections without feedback left me confused how to improve, and a never-ending stream of negativity shook me to the core.

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About Writing Magazine

In this month's issue of the UK's bestselling magazine for writers, we show you how to sell your book, with tips on how to get your book into bookshops and why, and how, you need to assemble a press pack. In the June issue, you can find out how facing up to failure as a writer can be the first step to success. Learn how to use a second person 'you' narrator in your fiction, and explore the opening of seminal adventure novel King Solomon's Mines. Our star interview is Alison Weir, discussing combining historical rigour with fiction vigour in her Six Tudor Queens series of novels. Keep up to date with the latest competitions and opportunities to get into print in the packed pages of the latest Writers News.

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