By Gloria Reichert
Every writer’s journey will be different. A very few writers will have almost immediate success and have their early submissions purchased and published. Most of us, however, will experience a much longer journey. At times we could become discouraged by setbacks, but that need not be the case. We cannot control what we will encounter on our journeys, but we can control our responses to the events. Viewing each event in a positive perspective can make our journeys more joyful.
Deciding to write is a wonderful first step. Hooray! Joining a critique group is also cause for celebration. Having fresh eyes read a manuscript and give informed feedback helps us to see things differently and to grow as writers. Becoming a member of larger organizations such as the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and attending workshops and conferences bring opportunities to educate ourselves about the field of publishing and to learn about the craft of writing. Becoming acquainted with fellow writers and forming friendships create a valuable support network.
When we get to the place where we are submitting our work, alleluia! Of course, this step will bring those rejection letters, but they put us in great company. Successful authors usually have folders full of rejections slips. Laurie Knowlton says that each rejection brings us one step closer to publication. Receiving a rejection with advice from an editor or agent on how to improve the piece should cause us to jump for joy. Consider their thoughts and write on. Being published in a magazine or newspaper are huge steps along the way.
None of us knows when success will come. The field of writing is subjective and random. It is important to remember that each of us gets to decide what success is for ourselves. Celebrating every step along the way as we grow as writers can make the journey a wonderful experience. Keep reading and keep writing! To your success!