Thursday, October 27, 2011

Talking Craft: The Station

I titled this entry the station because I often equate writing to riding a roller coaster. In order to ride that coaster, you have to get out of the station first. I often get asked how I "broke into publishing". Since it was a lot of hard work and persistence, I don't always think of it as breaking anything. Most of the time, what people want to hear in answer to that question is the secret to the magic formula. That special thing you did to get an congratulations message instead of a rejection. Sorry to disappoint but I didn't do anything special. Unless you label "special" as "hard work". LOL

I wrote a book.
I polished it to within an inch of it's life.
Then I polished it some more.
I put it aside, wrote some more books.
Went back and polished that first book again.
I wrote another book in the meantime.
Went back and polished that first book again.
Finally feeling it ready, I sent it out into the world.
I got rejected--standard form rejection.
I polished again.
I wrote another book in the meantime.
Went back and polished that first book (yes, AGAIN).
Again, feeling it ready, I sent it out into the world.
And I got a nibble, a request for a full.
I wrote another book in the meantime.
Acceptance!

Just getting to that point took nearly 2-1/2 years. On one book. There isn't a magical formula for writing a book, or for getting an acceptance letter instead of a rejection. Unless that magical formula is hard work, determination and the ability to take punch after punch in the gut and still continue to do it.

And, sad to say, acceptance/rejection doesn't stop once you've "broken into publishing" either. It's just part of the business to be honest and something you have to decide if you can deal with in the long term. Getting a rejection letter isn't a personal attack on you, and you shouldn't take it as such.

So, to sum up, what's it take to "break" into publishing?

I have one word, for those looking for that magical piece of the puzzle to make it all click into place: PERSISTENCE

6 comments:

Annie Nicholas said...

Excellent point. I know many writers who give up before the journey has even started from fear of rejection. It's just part of the job.

Jessica Subject said...

I feared rejection before I'd even sent anything out on submission. But I had some encouragement and put myself out there. It's scary, and no, it doesn't end even after the first acceptance.

Sara Brookes said...

It's extremely scary but very much worth it if you succeed.

Layna Pimentel said...

Fantastic subject Sara! It really is too bad that people give up too easily!!

Hard work eventually pays off in the end. :)

Sheri Fredricks said...

I'm so glad you posted this. All too often some writers get one or two rejections and instead of going back through their manuscripts and polish to perfection, they self-pub a less than adequate book.

Kudos to you, Sara, for hanging tough.

bettielee said...

I have a problem with the "polish and send into the world" part, but I'm gonna try and beat that stumbling block's ass in 2012.