|My first publication|
appeared in this journal
It dawned on me as I read through comments on Facebook that many people don't understand the process of how to get published. So, I thought I'd take today's post to share my thoughts on this topic. Notice, these are my thoughts. I don't think there is one perfect formula. If there were, my novel trilogy would already be published. Alas, I'm still waiting for that thrill.
What does it take to get published?
Number one, you have to write. This point sounds simple, but you wouldn't believe how many people tell me they want to write a book. They aren't writing. You can't get published if you don't write.
Number two, you should read on the subject of writing. Books on writing abound, so it's not hard to find something worthwhile out there. Don't know which ones to read? Look for names you recognize or ask other writers what books they found helpful. My favorite is probably Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
Number three, find a writing group, workshop, or conference and attend. I belong to South Carolina Writers’ Workshop, a statewide agency with chapters throughout the state, and to Emrys, a local writing non-profit. Many people tell me they don't want to waste the group's time, so they want to wait until their work is polished. Wrong. These groups exist to help you polish your writing. If you find a group whose personality works for you then stick with them. Be careful to find a group that does give you honest, but tactful, feedback. Some groups share their work and pat each other on the back. Your family will do that for you. You want a group who will challenge you to improve.
Number four, submit your work. Seriously, if you don't submit your work, you'll never get traditionally published. Granted, if you prefer to self-publish, this point doesn't matter, but you should do all three of the other points before following this route. I know some writers who set aside one day a week to submit their work. That's how you get published. No one is going to call you and say they want to print that story you've never shown to anyone. Get it out there.
For those of you who are published, what other tips do you have? How did you get published?