What It Takes to Succeed in Publishing
Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
I recall seeing a television program that included a segment about a Vietnam War POW who, during eight years of imprisonment and torture, mentally created plans for building his family’s dream home. He didn’t just work on the big ideas of how many rooms, but he figured out how many nails were needed, how many bricks, etc. Then he would decide to move a room to a different part of the house, which would affect the rest of the design and keep his mental gymnastics going.
His preoccupation with the minute details kept his mind off his present, horrific, and seemingly endless situation. The house plans also kept him hopeful, optimistic that he would live to build that house. Eventually he did construct his dream house, and he gave the camera crew a tour through it, explaining that he probably decided on lots of windows and open space because he dreamed up the home when he was in a small cell with no windows.
Succeed in Publishing: Hope, Optimism, Hard Work
How does that translate to the writing life? It takes that hopeful, optimistic stance to stay strong through each phase of a writing career.
Succeed in Publishing: Pre-Published Dreams
Before you’re published, optimism and envisioning the day you’ll have a published book keep you going. The reality is that publishers have few slots for an overwhelming number of writers. And the reality is you can work smart and hard to hone your craft and to come up with a concept that perks up a publishing teams’ interest. The reality also is publishers are looking for the “just right” manuscript to put in that slot. Why shouldn’t you optimistically hope it happens to be yours?
Succeed in Publishing: Reality Sets in Mid-Course
When you’ve gotten a few books under your belt, your challenge is to remain hopeful and optimistic as you observe how hard it can be to get your book discovered by its potential readers. Realistically, it takes lots of marketing muscle and tag-teaming with your publisher to succeed.
Succeed in Publishing: Persistence Pays off
Then, when you breakout from the pack of other writers, and your star starts to shine, you need to find ways to remain hopeful and optimistic that your good run will continue–but realistic enough to realize you need to write well, write fast, and stay connected with your readers for that to be the case.
Hope and optimism with a healthy dose of hard work comprise the equation to hacking your way through the jungle of publishing. Dreaming a little dream of reaching your destination never hurt either.
What does it take to succeed in publishing? Click to tweet.
How does a writer stay hopeful? Click to tweet.
In what other ways do you maintain your hope and optimism when you look at the daunting path in front of you?