Last month we looked at ways for new writers to handle rejection.
I like quick results. When I taught K-4th grade art classes, I chose projects the students could take home later that day (unless we were working with clay or paper mâché). When I was asked to teach a drawing class for high school, I learned about process and the patience it requires.
Building a writing career is a process. There are very few overnight successes. Whether you are freelancing, writing for magazines, or writing a book, there are slow and steady steps which require patience for success.
Step 1 - Starting a blog
In early 2012, the first step I took in my writing career was creating a blog. It helped me be serious about what I wanted to do: build my platform. That means writing to a specific audience on a topic I am passionate about and gain credibility. It's been a slow and steady process, but I have a good following and readers from all over the world.
Once we create our blog, we're pretty proud of it. The layout, colors, font, and photos reflects our personality. It's like welcoming someone into your home and making them feel comfortable.
But after about a week or two, we wonder where our followers are.
Statistics state, in 2012, there were over 173 million blogs and climbing. Finding you by chance is slim. Dedication takes patience and you need both to gain followers. When you get published, readers will either know who you are through your blog, or you will have a place for readers to land and know more about you.
Step 2 - Educating yourself
Another step is learning all you can. Technology is always changing and it's important to keep current. Learn how to do cover letters, how to get published, how search engines work, and more. You don't need a degree to be a successful writer but it can only help to take some courses. Many online are free or very affordable.
I realized the value of this as I began writing. Be cautious of thinking you have a gift and can jump right in. You're a small fish in a big pond. Don't let this scare you, just do your homework.
Step 3 - Waiting, waiting, and more waiting
I think we're all pretty conditioned to be impatient in today's world.
Ask any writer who submits their work to magazines. It's typical to be told it will take 6+ weeks to be contacted regarding acceptance of your work. Sometimes you are not contacted at all. Many successful authors submitted their manuscript to several publishers before they landed a contract.
The key is not to give up. If you get discouraged easily, it may be because of impatience.
You've heard it before: slow and steady wins the race. Your goals will be reached when you are patient. Celebrate your small successes along the way until the day you reach the finish line!
After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' Ark. You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts - http://kathleenmoulton.com