Monday, January 23, 2012

Dare I Call Myself a Writer

I had this great idea for a novel.  It's been brewing inside of me for a long time and I've finally committed myself to making it happen.  So I started writing and bought a book, Getting Your Book Published for Dummies, (yeah, I know) and started reading it.  Basically it boiled down to- non-fiction, great! here's how.  Fiction?  You don't have a chance.  It's slowly been dawning on me that getting published is like winning the lottery, making it in Hollywood, or becoming the winner on American Idol.  But that's okay- writing is a fire within.  I must do it, whether I succeed or not, because it's my dream.  So I bought another book on publishing.  I sat and looked through it before I actually got it this time.  It started out so positively, making the point that in this day and age of online publishing, you can make it happen.  Then I got home, continued reading, and got to the little blurp on fiction.  Again, you don't stand a chance.  But it did refer me to the Writer's Digest for Novels and Short Stories.  Okay, now we're talking!
One suggestion has been to gain experience, like building a resume, by getting short stories published in literary magazines and entering contests.  So far I've written two and half short stories and a poem.  I'm starting with contests and have submitted one so far, although I still have a pending non-fiction piece that has not been officially rejected.
So, how are you planning on getting published?  And why do you write?


  1. I can tell you how I PLANNED to get published, but it happened in a very different way.

    I think I wrote what I wanted to write, when I wanted to write it.

    In the end, the biggest thing is to write something you love, that you feel good about, and then do your research to see where it could go.

    best of luck to you!

  2. I was given the same advice to start with publishing short stories in literary magazines. I gave it a few rounds a long time ago. Never got anything published but came close a couple times. But, there were longer stories calling to me. It came down to a choice, I could either keep writing short stories, or write the novel that was banging down my door and that I felt very passionate about. I went with the novel. We'll see what happens.

    As a writer we need to be aware of the market and what's available. We also need to write what we're feeling, the voices we can't stop listening to. Everything else will work out. I have to believe that.

  3. Jolene- I totally agree with you about writing what you love. If it's something I would want to read, maybe someone else would too. I'm just beginning this journey (to quote from your blog) and maybe it will take me to good places.

    S.P. Bowers-thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your experience. I'm still mainly concentrating on my novel, but if I squeeze in some time for short stories too I thought it couldn't hurt. We'll see I guess!

  4. I write because I have stories that randomly pop into my mind, and I have to explore them and get them out. I want to be published someda of course but since I'm not even done with my WIP I haven't tried much yet. I agree though, contests are a good idea!

  5. Thanks for stopping by! I think we're at about the same place in writing- and the same goes for me with my novel, I just keep chipping away at it. I hope to be finished by the end of the year, so I don't want to spend too much time on the short stories, but I'm curious to see how the contests run out. Besides my family, I'm just excited to get someone else to read my stuff:)

  6. Writing short stories also helps to hone your writing skills. Many people won't get their first novel published because it's a practice piece. The more you write, the better you'll become. It's a slow process. Don't give up.

  7. I agree. I feel like I have a good story to tell, but other then the English courses I took for my nursing degree, my skills are not where they should be. Thanks for joining my blog and for your encouragement!

  8. Hi! Stopping by from Lynda's BBQ.

    While it might be difficult to be published, I say don't give up. Never, ever give up. New authors are still published so ignore the "experts". ;) And that's a great idea to build up a little writing resume!

  9. Hi Caitlin! Thanks for stopping by! I'm going to try to not get discouraged. From what I've learned, even the writers' who make it were rejected many times first. So I agree on not giving up.