Howdy, all. I received a nice email yesterday from someone with questions about writing, and I thought I’d post some of my responses:
I’m working on an original novel now, but man, it’s hard to work the writing in around a job and a social life and a relationship and whatnot. Anyway, if you don’t mind my asking, how did you juggle all these things?
I just did. It was hard, but you make the time. In my case, I wrote when I would normally watch tv, or I got up early and wrote, or I wrote before bedtime. I just fit it in. I also took some time off after I graduated from school, and went on a writing blitz. The longer you juggle, the easier it becomes – the key is to start and then stick with it. You have to be stubborn and very serious about your goals.
Now, if you run into difficulty with the people around you, that’s something else entirely. I was lucky enough to have some very supportive souls in my life, but that’s not always the case. Again, stay stubborn if those around you complain about the time you’re giving up to write. Which isn’t to say you should be completely selfish, but only that you need to listen to your heart. Balance out your dreams with your responsibilities. Which might sound vague, but you know how much you can get away with when it comes to the people in your life. Just don’t give in so much that you bury all your own desires.
More importantly, how difficult did you find the process of submitting your novel to various publishers…?
Not so difficult, because the book was done! All I did was follow the submission guidelines. The hardest part was fighting the lines at the post office. The waiting was also hard, because I knew my chances of making it out of the slush pile were slim to none. I wasn’t about to give up, though. You keep working until you make it happen. That’s it. Period.
And finally, do you have any recommendations for someone like me?
Just write the story. Write the best story you possibly can, and then do your research. Find the right publishers, listen to what they want in their submissions, and then just do it. Send it in and keep your fingers crossed. There is no substitute for real live action. I know that’s not terribly specific, but everyone has a different road to success. The key is the story. That’s all that matters. The rest will fall into place once you have that done.