This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the December 3 posting of the IWSG are Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins!
Few authors are successful with their first book. And by that, I don’t mean the first book they sell, I mean the first book they write. Not many authors sell and make good off the very first thing they write in their entire life ever. If there are any authors like this, it’s best to steer clear of them because they’ve obviously sold their soul to Satan (if I sold my soul to Satan for literary success I’d ask Satan to give me the book fully written, so I didn’t have to do all that work and could just spend my time rolling around in the money).
Most writers have a pile of things they acquire before they ever make their first sale: a pile of rejections, a pile of half-finished scrapped manuscripts, a pile of completed manuscripts that will never see the light of day, a pile of anxiety and self-doubt and proclamations they will never be accepted. That’s why I say writing is about quantity, not quality: the quantity of things that didn’t work out makes you, hopefully, some day the quality writer you want to be. You know what they say about getting to Carnegie Hall, right?
You always hear the stories from famous writers, citing how many rejections they accumulated before they made a sale. I couldn’t tell you how many I had because I sure wasn’t counting all those failures, but they were a lot. I have so many completed books that were ‘just practice’ too, even though at the time I was convinced they were going to be snatched up by some publishing house and I’d be a millionaire. Most of them are languishing away on old 3.5 disks and on actual paper, because I’m an old woman who was writing before you kids and your computers with your fancy word processing programs. I even have typewritten manuscripts gathering dust in my closet. None of these things will ever be published, but they got me to the publishing sucess I have today. I keep them around to remind me nothing worth having comes without a lot of hard work and failures first.
So even if you have a pile of rejections and false starts, don’t despair. Climb on top that pile and keep building it, because you can see so much better from up there.