Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Writers: Don't Be Discouraged

Everybody seems to have their own idea of how their writing career will begin...and it rarely ever happens the way anyone plans. Maybe you've been rejected a bunch of times, maybe you were accepted for an anthology but didn't actually get paid, or maybe you lucked out from the beginning but your career isn't taking off the way you expected. The process is complicated and, often, discouraging.

Here are a few tips that might help you deal with the ups and downs:

Whether you’re asking someone to comment on a work-in-progress, review a completed book, or consider your work for publication, there are usually guidelines in place, so research the situation is first. For instance, ask what the estimated turn-around is…if it’s longer than you care to wait, you might want to consider other options. Please keep in mind how ridiculous-busy many publishers, editors, etc. are...it's not that they don't make time to read your submissions, they may simply haven't had a chance. A lot of people in the writing profession are leading double lives (by that I mean working more than one job or handling numerous personal responsibilities), and there are only so many hours in the day…especially during the holidays.

When you do get a response, and it’s not what you were hoping for, DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONAL. I don't care what anyone says; NO ONE starts out as earth-shattering...even when it comes to writing reviews. For example, the difference in my reviews written two years ago, compared to the last six months, is terrible...and I still have a long way to go. Maybe you need a bit more editing, maybe you weren’t what they were interested in at that particular time, or maybe you’ll get a completely different reaction from elsewhere (i.e. find a better fit). What you don’t want to do is start talking trash because you’ll probably just end up giving yourself a bad reputation; you never know where your referrals may come from. Someone may not like your work, but maybe they know someone who would.

Above all, be patient. Even when an author's work is fast-tracked & contracted, it still can take forever for things to happen. Some of the most well-established authors have to wait months at times now and then.

Last, but not least, keep writing. Even if you want to be a novelist, it won’t hurt to start small: blogs, magazines, anthologies. Instead of trying to jam “the book” down everyone’s throat, give them a taste of your writing – a reason to come around and read your big novel (that you’ve undoubtedly spent countless hours perfecting).

Please don't get discouraged!!

As always,


  1. I read a lot of great stories from authors that are hardly known...fame has nothing to do with talent.