I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of all the extremist rhetoric about publishing. The defeatists need to get a grip. People still read. Publishers are still acquiring books. Authors are selling directly to readers, too. But those chipper snake oil peddlers? Equally toxic. If someone tells you writing and publishing a book is easy, either they've never done it, or they're selling you something (follow my simple 1-2-3 formula and you’ll be rolling in cash!). These people aren't writers. They're marketers.
Here's what I think. We don't just want to write books. We want to write good books. We don't just want to make a buck, we want to lead fulfilling writers’ lives. Well, that life is not built on a frenzied use of social media, nor is it built on gaming the system. It's built on craft, community, and a wholehearted embrace of our voices.
"A darkly funny, compulsively readable debut novel about two young flight attendants coming of age at 35,000 feet." - St. Martin's Press, 2013
What is your dream? What's getting in your way? I've been a gatekeeper (gasp!), a grad-level writing instructor, and a once-struggling novelist, so I have felt your pain. Now I'm here for you with professional feedback and support.
1. Nurture your mindset
2. Commit to your craft
Read the literary award winners, read the bestsellers, and then read terrible books to remind yourself you do indeed have talent. Even better, read unpublished books by friends or critique partners. It’s astounding what you can learn from books that are “almost there.”
Should you include another point-of-view? Should you open with more action? Should you change the ending? Don’t agonize over it. Try it. (Always save the original!)
4. Build a writing community
There is a reason successful writers know a lot of other successful writers, and it has nothing to do with conspiracy. It has everything to do with dedication. How to build a community without "networking."