Sunday, May 13, 2018

Writing Lessons from my Mother.

When I finally become a published author, I am going to give my mother the credit. Why? Well, let me tell you why not first. She is neither a particularly good writer, nor does she even like to write. I can't remember the last time she's written anything other than 'Love, Mom' (Keep it short, another writing lesson) on my annual birthday card. Her story telling is reasobably good, but nothing out of the ordinary. And she's never been all that adept at grammar, punctuation, or finding the right word to express what she wants to say.

So, why her?

It's easy. My mother is the most positive person I have ever met in my life, and if there is one attribute I inherited and/or learned from her, it's a positive attitude. And that's why she's going to get the credit. My father will get some too, having passed on to me his love of reading and writing and the desire to find just the right word to say what he wants to say. But there are a lot of good writers out there, good writers that you and I have never heard of, and we haven't heard of them or read their books--not because they can't write--but because they didn't survive the road to publishing, which can be, take it from me, soul-crushing, confidence destroying and many other things I won't say out loud. They lost their confidence, became negative, didn't feel like they could beat the enormous odds, stopped trying to get better.

Thus far, my soul hasn't been crushed and my confidence has survived, despite ten years of heartbreak, unfulfilled expectations, and rejection. Why have I kept on the road? You know the answer; the positive attitiude my mother gave/taught me. Focus on the positve aspects of life. (Something she never told me, keep in mind, prefering to show me by example. Another writing lesson.) And there has been positives, a lot of them, highlighted by signing with a top-notch literary agent, the fabulous Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates.

My mother can help you, as well. Can't find an agent? Stay with it, believe in your self, and don't forget to learn from your mistakes. Can't get a publishing contract? Keep writing, keeping in mind everything the editors told you about where you fell short. Book not selling as well as you want? Listen to the feedback from your readers, and write another book without the same drawbacks.

So, Happy Mother's Day to my mother, 88 years old. And thanks for everything!

Cheers, peter

Peter Hogenkamp is a practicing physician, public speaker and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include THE INTERN, a novel based loosely on Peter's medical internship, excerpts of which can be seen on Wattpad; ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; and THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of The Book Stops Herethe literary blog for readers and writers written by authors, editors, agents, publishers and poets; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and the chief of three tribes on Triberr, The Big ThrillFiction Writers and The Book Shelf. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and fouchildren--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. Peter can be reached at or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at