I was browsing the internet and found this article. While good, I figures I could add a few more points to help out those looking to get out there and make their stories known. Here’s some info for you, especially if you’re interested in the publication process:
- Diversify. Don’t publish all your work with the same company! Having a few different groups on your bio shows you can cater to different styles and genres, which will make you a better writer. This will also make it easier to get published.
- Look up how long the process takes. Patience really is a virtue, and if you send a short story out, it may be months before you hear back. Novels take even longer. Assuming your story gets accepted, it could be months, even years, before it gets put in print. One of the best ways to assist your writing career is to understand that the gears grind slowly.
- Keep notes! I have a Microsoft Access database tracking every submission I send out, where I’ve sent it, and when I should hear back. If accepted, I move the entry to a different table within the database, tracking when I should expect publication–if it has a date–and how long until the rights transfer back to me, to avoid legal issues. If you start sending work to multiple companies, as with point 2, you’re going to want to stay organized.
- Look up what people hate about your favorite books. It’s easy to be blind to faults when we love something, and even if you experience the writer’s curse (near-crippling self-doubt), you might still find it’s hard to revise. Seeing the faults in other, already published books will help you with your own.
- Write every day. I want to emphasize you don’t have to write the same thing every day, just keep writing. I bounce between fiction, poetry, and non-fiction all the time. Sometimes I even count the essays I do for class, or items I have to write for work, to avoid strain from over-use. Should you have a blog, you can count that too (I do!).
I hope this helps you acclimate to the writing world. Whether you’re new to writing or have been around a while and looking to build yourself up, these tips should help you build the skills and traits you need to succeed in today’s ultra-competitive literary world.