Many aspiring writers think the only way to get published is to get lucky. They have been told to make connections with publishing professionals, get to know editors and be bold about pushing their story ideas. They are told to start a blog, make business cards and start promoting themselves on Facebook before they even have a publishing contract. When do these poor hopeful writers have time to actually write their books? If you want to get published, no amount of luck, connections or blogging will matter if you haven’t put enough time into your writing.
Going way back, have you heard the story about Mary Shelley and how Frankenstein or, The Modern Prometheus was first published anonymously in 1818 by the author’s father, William Godwin? Certainly, Shelley was exposed early on to writing by her writer parents and eventually even married a writer. Maybe she was lucky to be from a writing family, but connections aside, she first and foremost wrote a great book. Frankenstein became a classic piece of literature because the story was unparalleled at the time, not just because Mary Shelley was lucky enough to have a famous family.
If you want to get published, write a good book. Then edit, polish, scrub, and revise. Sure, it’s a good idea to go to writing conferences where you can meet editors and connect with other writers, but remember there is no quick road to publication.
It’s like losing weight. No matter how many people want to profit off telling you there’s a magic diet pill, there is no shortcut to health. There is only the next step on the treadmill or the next bite of healthy food. With writing, there is only the next word. Eventually those words form a novel. It’s an organic process, not magical.
If you want to get published, don’t give up. There is no magic pill, but you can write the best book possible and submit it to publishers. The wait might be long and there are no guarantees, but you will have done it. You will have written a book you can be proud of.
(These thoughts are taken in part from an article I first published in the Rocky Mountain Writer)