On Getting Getting Published

So here it is. You write your first draft. It’s pretty awful, but it’s a first draft. The ghost of your novel. You go back and revise it, and your second draft has more meat, but it still has lots of holes here and unnecessary filler there. You rewrite. Maybe you join a critique group and rewrite some more. You polish. Maybe you send out some queries and get say ten or forty or sixty rejections.

You go back and rewrite and polish. By now you know your characters so well, you have conversations with them. You obsess over details. You read up on agents and try to decide who might be interested in what you’re writing. Did I mention you keep polishing?

Because you’re a writer, you’re naturally shy, but you force yourself out of your writing hole and start going to workshops, then (gulp) writers conferences where you learn about pitching. You keep polishing. One day you pitch at the right conference and hit the jackpot. You get an agent. You almost pass out. You celebrate for a minute and then obsess over whether she’ll be able to sell your book.

When she sells your book, you can’t believe it. You celebrate for more than a minute. You go out to dinner. You don’t mind doing more revisions. You’re going to be published. It only took seven years to get to this point, and now you have a two-book deal. Wow! You have something to show for all your years of hard work; though, now you obsess about whether people will like your book.

Wait. A two-book deal means one year to write, revise, re-write, revise, polish, revise, and re-write a second book. Oh well, when you look at it, sleep isn’t that important.

Keeping at it is.


P.S. My debut novel, The Eighth Circle, a noir thriller, will be published by Crooked Lane Books in 2016.