New Writers: Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution to Become a Published Author this Year? – by Anne R. Allen…

I’ve been looking over some old journals from 25-30 years ago, and it’s amazing how many years I made a New Year’s resolution to become a published author.

And it’s amazing how many years it didn’t happen.

The journals gave me a rush of memories of how it felt to be down at the bottom of the publishing ladder, trapped on the query-go-round, desperately hoping for the smallest bit of encouragement. Sometimes I’d send out ten queries a day. I spent tons of money going to conferences, pitching unpolished books to agents and editors who tried to be kind, but I could see by their faces I was doing something wrong.

What my fledgling writer mind didn’t comprehend was that it takes way, way more time to learn to be a successful writer than anybody tells you.

I found one entry written when I was about to give up writing. I’d had seven rejections in one day — including the return of a full manuscript with no explanation. (I know that happens even more often now, and I wish agents knew how that can throw the most optimistic writer into pit of despair. Give us a nice form rejection. That doesn’t take long and it’s so much kinder than silence.)

What I didn’t realize then, which my present self can see so easily, is — I needed more time before I jumped into the marketplace.

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