Saturday, March 19, 2005

A Lesson In Persistence

In the last few weeks, I stumbled across an article filled with wisdom for writers who want to get published.  Like a lot of things I read online, I run it through my filter and experience. I don’t agree with everything but the words ring with truth and should be read and processed through your own experience.

When someone gets a six-figure advance and that news goes out to the publishing community, it is like they have been “discovered.” J.A. Konrath writes about his First Deal released last May in hardcover. He says, “How did a guy with no publishing record get both an agent and a big book deal? Was I a Cinderella Story, being at the right place at the right time? Did I know some industry big shot who made a few phone calls? Did I use blackmail, bribery, or extortion? No, no, and no-no-no. I’m actually a slush-pile success–a guy who got noticed by writing unsolicited queries. But much as I’d like to say that my very query letter catapulted me to success, that’s not the case. The truth is, I’d written nine previous novels, and garnered over four hundred rejections, before getting my big break. Throughout twelve years of writing and marketing, I’ve made every mistake a writer could make.”

Then he details some of his experience and how he found a literary agent. Here’s the key phrase in this article which caught my attention: “So after twelve years and over a million written words, I’m an overnight success. The turning point in my career can directly be traced to one event: my change in attitude. When I stopped thinking of writing as a dream, and began thinking about it as a business, I landed my agent.”

Persist and learn your craft. Whether it is nonfiction, fiction, children’s writing, magazine articles or anything else.  If you want to get published, you have to treat this business like a business. It will show in your attitude.


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