Monday, September 18, 2017

Authoring 101: How to Fake It, till you Make It

I’m sure we’ve all, at some point in our writing career (and I use the word ‘career’ ve-ery loosely here!), felt like just giving up. I mean, we write, we edit, we join writing circles and Facebook groups and talk about writing a heck of a lot. It’s all so...inspirational...well, no, it’s actually quite depressing sometimes, especially when it feels like everyone else is ‘making it’ while you just struggle to find time in day to write a couple hundred words…

This is my honest take on what it’s like to to be a writer. It’s flippen’ hard. It’s a ton of work with so little credit it’s almost as insane as having kids - the ultimate around the clock job with no 13th cheque, I mean, no pay cheque at all, in fact the exact opposite: a bottomless financial and time leak that just won’t go away - because it’s still so worth it!

I hope this post is for you.

I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way…

So last week I felt just like this this, and then I exchanged a mail with Romy Sommer and admitted I felt I wasn’t sure if I should bother renewing my ROSA membership. I had a shopping list of reasons: I still haven’t finished my book, my beta readers ripped it to shreds, I’m not a real writer anyway etc. etc.

You know the refrain.

I know you do.

But then, a teeny tiny voice, from the very depth of heart whispered: “Do not give up on your dream.”

What did you just say?


The kids will grow up, and if you raised them right enough, leave the nest to chase their own adventures. The people who love you, get it, and will support your efforts, don’t underestimate them, tell them how you are feeling.

Own it.

Own the fact that you are writer - and take yourself seriously even if your WIP is in a bigger state of crisis than the Western Cape and the current drought situation. You can do this. You CAN, but it’s up to you. No-one is going to give you what you need (time, money, discipline) those are things you are going to have to make contingency plans and trade-offs for. Recognise that it (time, money, discipline) will come at a price - and pay it. And you must if you are going to make it. Because the only thing that separates a struggling writer from a successful one is Perseverance. With a capital P.

So here are some of my strategies to Fake It Until I Make It as an author.

  • Be your own PR person. Get a professional photo taken, website and FB page and share your writerly thoughts on it. Put yourself out there in the world as an author.
  • If you have a book, brag about it, talk about it, tell EVERYONE about it.
  • Immediately ditch the idea that you are going to be discovered. Give copies of your book to local libraries, offer to give talks and go knocking for the exposure you want. Local radio stations and newspapers are looking for fresh news - be the fresh news!
  • Get your fans together (on mailing list) and ask for things that will help you sell your book: reviews, reviews and more reviews.
  • Mingle with other writers, collaborate, learn and show your support of their work.
  • Read books in your genre like it’s homework.
  • Write consistently. Don’t overthink it, just write. A messy first draft is better than No Draft.

Most importantly: DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM.

Why should anyone believe in you, if you do not believe in yourself?

Words by Cindi Page 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017

Meet Elsa Winckler - Multiple Award Winner, who writes in English and Afrikaans

In an effort to really get to know each other, we thought it would be a good idea to publish a series of interviews with fellow ROSA members to learn more about who they are, what they've published and what makes them tick. We'd like ALL our members to feature, so please drop our chairperson, Romy, an email on and she'll send you some questions to answer.

Meet the lovely Elsa 

What is the last romance novel you read?
For seven nights only - Sarah Balance

What type of Romance / what genre do you write?

Are you published yet? If so, with whom?
Escape Publishing, Etopia Press and HarperImpulse

What do you love most about writing?
Creating characters

And what is your biggest challenge as a writer?
To find time

Do you have a playlist while you write?
No, I don’t listen to music while I write, but songs definitely inspire some stories

What was the inspiration behind your last book?
An article I read about an animal communicator

What is your proudest achievement as a writer?
Three awards

What advice would you give someone who tell you they want to write?
Sit down and write

If you could give your life / dreams / goals a hashtag, what would it be?

What keeps you motivated to write?
All the voices in my head

What is your writing schedule like - do you write every day / a certain time of day?
On a perfect day, I write from 9:00 till 16:00 when I have to start cooking

(Okay, we all hate you a bit now, Elsa!)

Tell us about the first love story you ever wrote.
It was in Afrikaans. At the time I was the admin lady at the English Department at the University of Stellenbosch and we had a professor from the Engineering department who enrolled for English I. That got me thinking - what if …?

You probably get this question a lot...but are you related to Heinz Winckler?
Yes, I'm his mom!

(Okay, we love you again, Elsa!)

What is the best part about being part of ROSA?
My fellow Rosas are all formidable women and everyone is so supportive.

Connect with Elsa on Facebook. And visit her website: