I published my first book in 2012 and next month my second book will be released by Penguin Australia’s Destiny Romance imprint. So I am in the position to know some of what works if you want to be published in fiction. These are the six most important things you have to do to be successful in writing.
1. Determination and Persistence.
I can’t stress enough how important this is. You have to want to succeed. You have to strive to improve each day, month, year and manuscript. Have a picture in your mind and a certainty in your heart of what it will look like and feel like to be published, to have readers who love your words.
I can link much of my success to my connection with a wonderful mentor, Louise Cusack. You need to find someone who clicks with you, who is experienced in writing and publishing your genre and who can teach you the important stuff. You might even have to pay your mentor and believe me, it’s money well spent.
You can’t edit your words until they’re written. Getting into consistent habits of daily writing no matter how may words you get down, will see you succeed in finishing your first manuscript. After all, that’s the most common reason that people fail at anything- inability to finish the job, or even start.
4. Make writing a priority.
Take your writing seriously and others, including your family, will take it seriously too. Think of it as a job, decide on an amount of time you will devote to it on a daily or weekly basis, and do it. Do not let your writing get pushed aside by the demands of your family. The only way you will be able to avoid this is by scheduling regular and non-negotiable writing time. No excuses!
5. Take opportunities.
Put yourself out there, take a risk, dare to fail. You learn a lot each time you fail. My writing journey has taken fifteen years and step by step I built the momentum that led to seeing my work published. Take a course, actually, take many courses- each one will teach you something; enter competitions; submit your manuscript once it is properly edited; revise your manuscript when unsuccessful and submit to someone else; talk to authors; attend conferences and join writing organisations.
6. Create an on-line presence.
Participate in social media and create a web site or blog. You can’t have a viable writing career these days without having a presence on-line. It takes a while to understand how the various forms of social media work so it’s good to be tech savvy before you’re published. Once you succeed in getting that contract you will then be ready to market yourself and your work. Plus digital media is a wonderful way to connect with other writers and learn about writing.
I could go on listing ways to succeed but these are the absolutely critical steps in success as a writer. But don’t just read this and say ‘one day’. Do it now!
About Bernadette Rowley
Bernadette Rowley is a writer and veterinarian who was born on the Sunshine Coast and now lives in Townsville, Australia. She has been immersed in the world of speculative fiction since her early teens and remembers being spellbound by Tolkien and Brooks and their epic quests. It is not surprising that her stories contain more than a little magic. Bernadette’s debut novel Princess Avenger was released by Penguin Group Australia in 2012 and her second book, The Lady’s Choice, will be released in October 2013.
Bernadette's blog: http://bernadetterowley.com/
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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