You’ve heard it before, there are no overnight successes. Well, there are a couple I know of, but thankfully we’ve remained friends to this day. For the rest of us publication takes three things. Sweat, tears, and perseverance.
Sweat. It’s what got me from being an unpublished novice writer to a published author. We all start out green, thinking our prose are brilliant until our first critique. Then the scales fall from our eyes, and we see that we have a lot of learning to do. That’s when we roll up our sleeves and learn new terms like head hopping, info dumps, and backstory. All the things our WIP is filled with that we’re not supposed to do. But we’re excited, ready to learn, not afraid of the work before us. We buy a couple of craft books and start to learn the rules.
Rules? Yes, writers need to follow them if they want to be published. It’s the published writers, and those darn overnight successes, that get to break them! 😉 Once we start to learn the rules it’s then the real writers are separated from the fantasy writers (and I’m not talking genre.) It’s then we start to sweat. It’s then a writer needs to ask the question, “Am I willing to put in the hard work it’s going to take to become a published author?” It’s a question I had to ask myself for the last seven years after every disappointment and rejection.
Tears. If you want to be a published writer, there will be many. Writers have heard over and over again that writing is not for the faint of heart, that you have to have thick skin, and when you’re knocked down over and over again (and you will be,) you have to get up again and again. And it’s true. I’ve been knocked down so many times I swore I’d never get up. But I always did because I’m that stubborn and determined to keep at it until I succeed. I’ve learned a couple of tricks to deal with the tears and disappointments. You might want to figure out what works for you and keep them handy for when the time comes!
Perseverance. This is what separates the writers from the wannabes. You’ve also heard that if it was easy everyone would be doing it. There are many who start on this writing journey only to fizzle out and quit too soon. What keeps me going is not knowing what God has planned and the fear of missing out because I gave up too soon. It’s not easy to persevere through sweat and tears, but when I keep my mind on the goal and my heart attuned to my calling, then quitting isn’t an option.
Writing isn’t easy, but it is attainable if you remember the three keys to getting published. You need to work hard, handle disappoints, and pick yourself up and start typing again. If there’s any other way to succeed in this crazy business, I’d sure like to know!
Gina Conroy, a.k.a. “the other Gina,” is a new monthly contributor to Novel Rocket. She’s the founder of Writer…Interrupted and is still learning how to balance a career with raising a family. She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, and her first novella, Buried Deception, in the Cherry Blossom Capers Collection, releases from Barbour Publishing in January 2012. So she knows a thing or two about getting published. Now she’s searching for the secret to landing a three book contract!