Sometimes we think we “have it made” in this business. Whether that means we’ve published a book ourselves, signed with an agent, or gotten a deal from a traditional publisher. But the publishing industry is a tough beast to be involved with. In some ways, it’s extremely unforgiving. In others, the sky is the limit.
Since I’m a rather positive person, and I like to dwell on things of a more optimistic nature, I’m going to talk a little bit about looking into that sky and reaching for the stars.
No matter where you are in your publishing career, I’m willing to bet you could still start a sentence with “I wish.”
“I wish my agent would read faster.”
“I wish I could sell to a publisher.”
“I wish I could write more than ten words before my kids interrupt me.”
We all have them. Wishes. I’m right there with you—and we should have wishes, and we should be working on making them come true.
See, 5 years ago, I was a complete unknown in the publishing world (and in many ways, I still am!). I didn’t have a single thing published, not a short story, a novella, nothing.
I was wishing on stars, writing books, and sending queries. A lot of queries. Hundreds of queries. SO MANY QUERIES.
Some of my dreams came true. Yours can too. Even if you aren’t recognizable yet. Even if you can’t get more than a handful of sentences on the page before something else comes up. Even if you haven’t signed an agent or publisher contract.
The point is to keep going. Sometimes it’s hard. Boy, let me tell you, I know how hard this business can be from an intimately personal place. Sometimes things don’t go the way we’d hoped, imagined, or dreamed—even if we do sign with an agent and then get a publishing contract from a New York house.
But keep going. Keep looking up into the skies, finding those stars, and making your wishes. I can’t guarantee they’ll come true, but I can guarantee that you’ll be happy and satisfied with what does happen.
So what’s your wish?
She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog, a regular contributor to The League of Extraordinary Writers, and a co-organizer of WriteOnCon. She is a member of SCBWI, ANWA, and LDStorymakers.