Wednesday, 11 July 2012

400 blog posts on the journey to publication

It seemed a bit pretentious and over confident to put 'the journey to publication' on my first blog. Yet, here I am, further down that path. No guarantees - I met a writer the other day who almost sold their book, only to get turned down at the last second, heartbreaking (and, I imagine, very frustrating). 


It's been an interesting journey, not least because I thought at first it would just be a private ramble, like a diary, as I wrestled with writing exercises, assignments, rejections and ideas. For three months it just seemed like me, climbing the hill, enjoying the view. Then I put a controversial post up and someone commented. People were reading my blog! I found the stats button and found that people on A215 had found it but also other writers. Gradually, I got more comments and emails, and people started 'friending' me on Facebook. I was part of a writing community. I linked to other blogs I liked, and started following other people's journeys. I was encouraged by their successes, sympathetic to their stumbles. I started to have faith in the process. Yes, it was almost impossibly difficult to get published, yet people were doing it. I started to read my own stuff and realise it was getting better, and short stories were finding their way into anthologies and magazines. 


Without that writing community, I would never have sent my half-baked novel out to Mslexia. I was encouraged by the diversity of the work others had sent out - many of which were longlisted in the end. So, I sent out my novel, which led to being shortlisted and getting an agent, who has sent it (heavily edited!) out to editors. I'm right at the fork in the road that is signposted 'get a publishing deal', by the sign, looking ahead, that says 'keep trying'. Although a book deal would be fireworks and champagne, they do look very similar. Keep writing, keep improving, keep working. Which I will do anyway, because the stories would drive me mad if I didn't pin them on the page. 


So, if you're travelling with me because you are a writer, keep writing, stay open to improvement, enjoy the journey to bigger and better things. 
My sort of path

12 comments:

  1. Whoop! *claps* So glad your travel down your windy path is finally getting you to your desired destination. (You should see my path - it looks more like a maze!). Well done. I'm really pleased for you and am so glad I've seen some of your milestones be achieved! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may see it as a maze but I've read your writing and it's extraordinary! I'm not better than you, I might be more persistent and I've gained in confidence. Looking forward to seeing your writing out there more!

      Delete
  2. I have found following your blog hugely inspirational. I hope to get where you're at eventually.
    Thanks for keeping me going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Travelling seems to be mostly keep on writing, get better, write a load more. So - keep writing!

      Delete
  3. Now I have 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' stuck in my head. I do love that image that we're all walking on the path together - and it's not a race or a competition. It can't be because we're all writing different kinds of things (or at least I seem to be). :/

    I'm not sure the journey ever ends even after you do get published. You have to do another lap to publish your next one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, the journey won't end, absolutely! But then, most of us would be writing something anyway.

      Good luck with your yellow brick road...

      Delete
  4. LOve This Dear! i enjoyed seeing it, Thanks For Posting ♥

    Mwaks!

    If you have a minute, please check out my blog and follow me if you liked it. I'll appreciate it so much! Thanks!


    Blow a Rainbow

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very inspirational post Reb. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really enjoyed that. Felt like I got to know a lot about you in a few short words. Nicely done. Brevity is my current struggle. I'm a talker, ergo, I write long, rambly posts. Working on it.
    Nice to finally meet you! It's been a long, hot summer in this little road-trip car...so after your candid comment at my place today, I decided to install a teleporter in my cute little turquoise convertible and head over here. What a nice surprise to find myself in your blog roll - giant thanks for that! Looking forward to getting to know you better!
    Love your shabby blog wallpaper choice, btw. I had one until Retro-Zombie (fellow co-host, accessible through several buttons in my sidebar -info for all you non-A-Zers who are reading) built me my very own, custom house showcasing all that I love.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Post A-Z Road trip!

    ReplyDelete