What's the "magic secret" to getting published?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Well, there really isn't one. Seriously. If you want to be an author, make a living at being a wordsmith, the most important thing is showing up every day and writing.

And then writing.

And then writing some more.

And...you guessed it.

Not only the writing, but the editing, the query/submission process, the self-promotion. All those other things a lot of people don't want to do and don't take into consideration when they want to make this their full-time career.

I talked about some of this in the special snowflake post. But showing up every day, EVERY day, even the days when you feel like crap and don't want to do anything except vegetate in front of the TV, is the biggest part of the equation. Even on days I don't write, I'm doing something. I'm either plotting or researching or doing self-promo or editing or something. Anything. Every. Day.

You will never get your book written if you aren't BICFOK (butt in chair, fingers on keyboard). You need to set a daily word count for yourself and stick to it. A weekly one, if that's easier for you and you have some days that are better than others for writing. Even if it's only 500 words a week.

Things that won't further your writing career:

  1. Whining about how you don't have time to write.
  2. Whining about how hard it is to do self-promotion.
  3. Whining about how hard it is to edit.
  4. Whining (about anything).
You are not the first person to juggle raising a band of half-wild pygmy antelopes while running car pool and PTA fundraisers and an evil day job.

You.

Are.

Not.

So sit down and STFU and listen to what I'm telling you.

You aren't the first person to think writing is hard. You aren't the first person to get a bad review. You aren't the first person to throw in the towel at the first rejection.

You just have to want it bad enough. You have to fix your goal in your mind and make time. You have to get off your ass and instead of talking about writing the book, you have to actually write that mofo and make the magic happen.

It's NOT impossible to make a living as a writer. Lots of people have done it. Lots of people are doing it. Lots of people will continue to do it when you and I are dissolved into dust motes a few hundred years from now.

The question is, do you want it? Are you going to quit making excuses for why it hasn't happened yet and get off your tushy and do it, or are you going to sit there and give up and whine about how hard life is?

So go write. Right now.

6 reader comments:

  1. kittyb78 said...:

    Blunt, yet very accurate.

    You forgot to mention it takes time and more than one book to succeed as well. :)

  1. @kittyb78 - True. :) It's a repetitive process. LOL

  1. Too true. I remember one aspiring author whining about how she had no time to write, and yet she knew exactly what happened in that week's episode of House. And Glee. And Bones.

    Also, you can't wait for your first book to get published before you start working on the next. Otherwise, you may never write another. The first book I wrote was the third that finally found a home!

  1. @Lynn - Yep. It's always a work in progress. I'm the same way, I finish one book and immediately begin on the next one.