Patience, perseverance and preparation are three words that tend to repeat a lot as my personal mantra. They are important to my writing life, my personal life and my work life too. They are a lot more than just words to me. They are the fundamentals to getting published.
That may seem like an odd thing to say. After all, isn’t getting published all about writing the best book possible?
I don’t deny the best book trumps all else, but if you have written a good book but give up after the first rejection, you will never live to see it published. The same holds true if you aren’t willing to wait for the book to work its way through the process.
Publishing is a slow process. Getting an agent can be a slow process. Patience is key.
That brings up the preparation portion of the equation. Preparation means knowing who you are submitting to whether it is to a publisher or agent. Preparation means working at your craft and improving yourself. Preparation also means building a platform and getting your name recognized so when your book is eventually published you have people interested in buying it. That preparation might also help get you picked up by a publisher or agent.
It has been a difficult to follow the 3 P’s at times. Patience is one of those virtues that I do not have in great supply. I remember how difficult it was to wait for that first answer for my first novel. I didn’t actually write anything while I waited those four grueling months.
Then there is persistence. No matter how much you believe in yourself and your writing, there are times when the rejections are piling up that you wonder if you are any good. Those are the times I’ve had to dig deep and fight my way forward.
Finally there is preparation. How do you know where to go and what to do? Even when you think you have covered all your bases you find more and then there is the entire time-committment to keeping those preparations going.
It feels a lot like work. Probably because it is. It is hard work with little reward for the most part. That’s when I remember that I do it, not for the potential money (I’m sure there are writers out there laughing when I say that), but because I enjoy telling stories and entertaining people. That’s when I start chanting the mantra all over.