This is the fourth and last of my just keep series. It only applies to those who want to do writing as a career. Those who want to do storytelling for fun only need not apply.
As you keep writing, reading, and learning your craft, you finally add submitting. This is how you transition from a good writer to a published writer.
Now, I am not yet published. I am in the process of making submitting a habit. My last book I submitted four times. This current one I’ve submitted six times and I plan on submitting it many more times.
This year, I’m shifting my priorities. In a couple of months I’ll have two books ready for submission. My main goal will be to do research on agents and publishers and to make sure that each book is out with at least 1 publisher and 5 agents at a time. If my submitting work is done, and if I still have time, then I will write. This is the exact opposite of prior years, where writing was priority number one and if I had time I would submit. That led me to hardly submitting at all.
Now that was fine for a long time, as I desperately needed to develop my writing skills. I still do now, I always will, but I have to develop a new habit of submitting. If I don’t, my writing career will never take off. If doesn’t matter how good my books get if they never get put in front of an agent or editor
I’ve heard it said that it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. In reading about the experiences of many writers, it seems more and more that this is what they mean:
Write for an hour or two every day, finish projects, learn the craft, and submit consistently. In about 10 years you will become a full time writer.
See? Easy! There is the magic formula. No sweat. 😛
I’ve been writing hard core for 5 years (and medium core for many years before that). I’ve been learning the craft and finishing projects that whole time. My weakness has been submitting. I’ve done some. I don’t think that I have to start at year one (it took me the first year to finish something), but I’ve probably got another 5 years of submitting and learning and writing before I get published. But maybe I’m underestimating my skills gained in these past five years and six books…
Maybe it won’t take me that long. But the door will never open if I don’t knock on it.
Go forth, do the just keeps. Don’t give up! Every time you fail, try again. The fact that you are reading this now means you are in a moment of potential progression. Never mind the days you didn’t “just keep”, just keep trying now, and you’ll have more and more moments where you do try.
Never give up, never surrender!