Is Publishing Your Goal?

We are fast approaching the end of the year. The beginning of the year, I write down my goals I want to accomplish for the coming year. One goal I continue to strive for is to be published. Some day I will succeed. If you’ve made that goal, I say Congratulations. As a writer I never want to give up. I’m always looking for ways to perfect that goal. Here are some suggestions I would like to share.

1. Examine the true reason you are writing. Is it for the personal achievement of completing a finished novel? Do you want the glory of seeing your name on the cover of your published book in a bookstore? Is it primarily for the desire to make money? Are you writing because your friend is writing and you want to be just like him or her? Do you enjoy developing and creating characters, with the excitement of seeing a completed ending? Learn what your drive is you want to pursue. Knowing your motivation will help you to be honest in achieving your publishing goal.

2. Read what you enjoy. I believe reading can only enhance the quality of your work. You hold the book in your hands and you say, “If he or she published, I can as well.” This is a great motivator in reaching your personal goal.

3. Entering contests is a great way to get an honest opinion from others in the writing field. This helps you to experience an opportunity to submit your work. You just might be one of the lucky one’s to place in the competition.

4. Don’t be in a hurry. Don’t try to send a chapter, synopsis or a proposal. A non-published writer must do the work. Complete the book. Your book must have a beginning, middle and an ending. Of course there are other elements such as romance (if it is a romance novel), conflict, a black moment. A main plot and sub plots vary. The list goes on and on. The main point I’m trying to convey is, learn the craft of writing and complete the book.

5. Do rewrites. Don’t try to by pass this step. Your poor writing will show through. Your story must be the best it can be. You must grab the editor’s attention. This is crucial to the sale of your book. Research all you can on the subject of rewriting. Be familiar with the techniques, so you can adjust your book accordingly. Find a good critique partner who will give you helpful suggestions. This doesn’t always have to be, but sometimes finding a writer who reads and writes the same type of books you are interested in, will give you the right helpful critique you need. Above all stay enthusiastic about your writing.

6. Read everything you can about publishing industries. Knowing someone employed in the publishing market could be a plus. Learn as much as you can about the market you are targeting for. One thing I’ve seen over time, write what you like. Not just what the market or editor is wanting. For example, if you are writing a novel, by the time you reach the end and have done all the rewrites, the demand for that type of story may have changed. Write what you are inspired to write. There is always going to be a time and place for your completed manuscript.

7. Once you’ve finished, submit as soon as possible. Research the publishing houses to find out who is requesting submissions. Once you’ve made your choice, follow their guidelines exactly. There aren’t any short cuts. Researching and finding the right publishing house to submit to, is just as important as writing your story.

Hope these steps help you in accomplishing your publishing goal. Feel free to share your experiences in your writing career. It is always interesting to hear how other writers motivate and follow their dreams.

May everyone have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
-Sharon

10 comments:

Nina Sipes said...

Sharon,
I'm so glad you wrote about the why a person wishes to write. It is really a pivotal question to answer and would save a lot of writerly heartache to identify WHY a person wishes to write.
Good job and very well put.

Do you remember when Pat required all of us to write our goals down? That was a most productive year for me. I'd never written goals down before. After the year was up, I looked back over them and was really surprised at how many I'd managed to achieve. Evidently, the subconscious keeps chugging along. This year, no goals written, no goals attained.

Roxann Delaney said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Sharon!

Those were excellent tips! If being published is a writer's goal, those are the ones to follow. I'll be the first to say it isn't easy and even after publishing, they shouldn't fall by the wayside.

Reese Mobley said...

Wow! Sharon what a motivating post. Everyone who is doubting themselves needs to read it. The key is to keep writing.

Merry Christmas.

Joan Vincent said...

Great points Sharon. Most of them experienced writers should keep in mind too. Questions like you pose and working to hone skills are life long tasks.
I second Nina. The year Pat had us do yearly and monthly goals was a very productive one for me. As nina said: No goals, therefore none can be reached.

snwriter52 said...

Nina, glad you enjoyed my comments. Goals are motivational drive for my future.
I always enjoy seeing your picture with the sunflowers. Too cool.
Sharon.

snwriter52 said...

Hi Rox:
Yes, I'm learning it's easier said than done. Oh my. Rewrites, Rewrites.
Thanks for stopping by,
Sharon.

snwriter52 said...

You are right. Never give up. Glad you enjoyed the blog.
Merry Christmas to you too.
Sharon.

snwriter52 said...

Joan, I too remember Pat suggesting everyone write down their goals. For me it's been a a meaningful exercise toward my writing career.
Sharon.

Starla Kaye said...

I,too, write down my overall writing goals for the coming year. Since I generally work on several manuscripts at a time, I actually turn my "writing goals" into a spread sheet with deadlines for submissions, etc.

Your thoughts were well put and every writer needs to think about them time and again.

Penny Rader said...

Terrific post, Sharon. #2 and #5 are my faves. :D I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. See you in the new year! How weird is it that it's almost 2010? (Just curious--do you think more people will say twenty-ten or two thousand ten?)