The Writer’s Journey (Part 1)

You write a novel and it sucks. You shop it out to agents and it gets rejected. You get it critiqued and people rip it to shreds. You go home and condemn yourself and your work for being utter garbage.

You stop writing for a few months.

You work up the courage and come back to that novel. You accepted that it sucks but understand it can be done better. You edit and edit and edit and edit until your sick and tired of being sick and tired of editing. Now you think it’s perfect.

You get it critiqued again and people still rip it to shreds. You shop it out and it still gets rejected. You submit it to small publications but they reject it as well. You go home, not to condemn yourself and your work, not to stop writing for a few months, but with a new understanding.

People are always going to have something negative or “bad” to say no matter how much time and effort you put into your work. And, you learn the same lesson you were taught in high school: fuck what people think.

You take a deep breath and decide to spend a bit more time away from the novel to work on other things. You go to the critique group and put your ego aside. You listen to what people are actually saying and not what you think they’re saying. You take notes, ask questions, and strive to become a better writer. You watch youtube videos, take courses, read reference books (and fantasy books, of course) and become dedicated to the craft.

You see progress. You feel amazing.

You go back to the novel and see the mistake people were talking about and you correct those with relative ease. When you see no more mistakes you’re not so naive to thin your novel is perfect, you understand the disappointment that leads to. You take it back to the group and they don’t rip it as bad as previous times. You shop it out to agents and the rejections become more personal. You go home feeling a bit more confident in yourself and your work.

You take some time off and work on other things.

You come back to the novel and you spot smaller and subtler errors and start correcting those. When none are left you take it to get critiqued again, you shop it out again, and this time an agent wants to give you a shot.

Hooray!

You write the synopsis and whatever other materials you need, you talk with he agent, you sign the paperwork and the whole nine and now you think you’re on your way. A couple months go by and your book is published. You get twenty-five author copies shipped to your house. You think now you’re suddenly going to become a best-seller but there’s only one problem: No one told you about marketing.

to be continued. . .

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