“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
― Ernest Hemingway
If your goal is to become a published author, finishing your manuscript (while daunting somedays), is only the first step in the process. This week, I discovered it is very easy to get caught in the rabbit hole of the writing industry.
There is an endless amount of information on the web, some of it is free, some of it for a fee (sometimes a monthly one). Unfortunately, not all of it, is helpful. From drafting query letters, to finding the correct agent for your manuscript (some agents and publishing houses only accept manuscripts during certain months), – it seems that navigating the submission process requires not only a roadmap, but a tour-guide, compass, flashlight, and possibly, some rations.
It’s easy to Google publishing houses in your state – but that doesn’t mean you can walk up, and hand in your novel. I was happy to find several publishers in my state, within an hour or two from where I reside. However, they strictly focus on regional writing. My book is not based in South Carolina, nor am I from, South Carolina originally. That simply, I’ve lost my chance to work with a local publisher.
There are a growing number of writers choosing to self-publish. And, after considering that The Help was rejected 60 times, Gone with the Wind was rejected 38 times, and Harry Potter was rejected 12 times, I can understand why this trend will continue.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and lost in the endless sea of information. It can appear like a nearly insurmountable list of to-do’s. This week I’ve devoured writing blogs, I’ve researched agents, I’ve watched free videos, and I even read a friend’s manuscript.
But – do you know what I haven’t done a lot the last few days?
I haven’t written.
And that, my friends, is the entire point of this process. It is to write. To write, each, and every single day. As you research agents, perfect your query letters (in the correct font), debate between editors and copywriters, establish your author platforms, and run yourself dizzy with all the business of writing, don’t forget one thing: there are a million stories living and breathing inside you, and they can’t be born, unless you sit down, and bleed.
This weeks tip:
When you have done all you can with your manuscript (often abbreviated ms or mss), you can research literary agents at Preditors & Editors (not a typo).
“Preditors & Editors was founded in July 1997 by Dave Kuzminski as a resource and a simple compendium for the serious writer, composer, game designer, or artist to consult for information, regardless of genre. Even readers will find Preditors & Editors useful in locating reading material.”
Your Writing Homework: Get off the internet. Turn off your phone (really, you will be okay). Turn on what inspires you (music, movie, silence), and feed that burn that runs through your body. My favorite thing to do is close my eyes, imagine my scene, and just type, eyes closed. It’s easy to get distracted by typos, awkward spacing, flickering lights, and uncomfortable pauses when you write, so don’t look at it. Close those eyes, and just type. Let your mind see, your heart feel, and your fingers flow.
Saturday: The Spark will update tomorrow. Come back next Friday for a new post.
This blog updates each Friday with writing resources, prompts, and of course, the random things I decide to post. Feel free to contact me here or find me on GoodReads @ https://www.goodreads.com/hkidder. Follow me on Instagram at: Everythingonpaperisperfect or on Pinterest @ paperpinning
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