Last week, Annette Gendler told us about her publishing journey after she'd written her memoir, Jumping Over Shadows. What simply amazed me is the number of times she queried an agent or another publisher. It wasn't 10, or 20, which in itself seems like a lot. No, it was far more than those numbers.
The poster above pretty well sums up Annette's path to achieving publication. She definitely believed in her book. She was patient. She didn't give up. Any one of those three traits would be worth having but she had all of them. There may have been days when she didn't, but she always retrieved them and moved on.
There are lots of writers who have manuscripts for one novel or several, for nonfiction books, for poetry anthologies which are sitting in files gathering dust. I know, I know--computer files don't get dusty but those finished projects do get old. If any of us wants to see our project as a published product, we need to acquire all three of the traits listed above.
Believe: You might tell me that you wouldn't have written the darned thing if you didn't believe in it. Partly true. The strength of your belief is key. You need to believe in your work down to the depths of your soul if you want others to believe in it, too. You also need to believe in yourself.
Patience: Maybe that word should be written in caps to make sure we know the importance of it. I've joked more than once that God pushed me into writing to teach me patience. Patience was never one of my finer virtues but I know that I am far more patient now than before I tried to market my work. I learned the value of being patient enough to submit to places that didn't answer for months, if at all. I came to realize that the publishing journey can be a very slow one and that I had to lower my frustration level and up the patience part.
Giving Up: This is a biggie. It's so much easier to give up than to persist. Not giving up goes back to that believing in yourself part. It also requires some of that patience part. Give up and the whole project is over. Give up and you may regret it forever.
You'll need all three of these traits if you hope to be successful in getting your project published. In Annette's article, she tells us that it wasn't easy when she was asked to rewrite her book. When we think we're done, we don't want to start all over. She did as asked, after some soul searching, and the door to having her book published opened.
The big question to ask yourself is: How much do I want this to happen? and How much work am I willing to put in? Maybe another question to ask is How much do I believe in the project?