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5 Writing Career Warning Signs Authors Mustn’t Ignore

Writing Career Warning Signs

At some point, every writer feels he or she is stuck in a rut. If you feel something is “off” and that your writing career has stalled—here’s what you can do to change your course and get back on track.

5 Signs Signaling It’s Time To Make A Change In Your Writing Life

The Warning Sign: You are feeling frustrated, tired, and burned out. Writing doesn’t energize you like it used to, and you wonder why you bother trying. It seems like no one is interested in your writing—including you.

The Fix: Connect with others. Find a critique group, writers association, or writers conference. Don’t go it alone; let the enthusiasm of other writers reenergize you.

The Warning Sign: You don’t want to submit work anymore because you’re not getting any acceptance letters—so what’s the point? Your submission efforts are half hearted—when you do make an effort at all. You’re beginning to feel resentful that you have to spend so much time making submissions that don’t get results, especially when you would rather be writing.

The Fix: Make a plan. By creating a specific, set-in-stone submission calendar, you’ll rid yourself of excuses. Plus, you’ll make MORE submissions. As professional submission assistants who have been working in the publishing industry for 20+ years, we can assure you that successful submissions are often a numbers game. Contact Writer’s Relief if you want US to remove the burden of making submissions for you.

The Warning Sign: You want to write, and you mean to write, but you always have something else to do…like watch television.

The Fix: Reconnect with your love of reading. Have you picked up a good book lately? Or a collection of poems or stories? Life’s busy. It’s easy to become disconnected from reading. Heading to the bookstore will get your creative gears moving again. Then take these steps to avoid procrastinating.

The Warning Sign: Nothing good has happened to you in a while. You can’t figure out why. And it’s starting to affect your mood and your creativity.

The Fix: Shake things up. You’re sitting around waiting for opportunity to come knocking—but that’s not how opportunity works. If you want something great to happen to you, you’ve got to make it happen. Connect with people or organizations that will open doors for you. Try something new. And keep an open, optimistic mind.

The Warning Sign: You’re getting a lot of nice “no thank-yous.” Literary agents and editors are writing notes or making comments that give you a glimmer of hope—but they’re just not making any firm offers. It’s so frustrating! If your writing is so great, where is your acceptance letter?

The Fix: If your good writing is not getting published, it may not be your writing that’s the problem at all. Are your submissions well-targeted? Perfectly prepared? In line with publishing industry etiquette? Writer’s Relief can help ensure that your submissions are getting into exactly the right hands, in the BEST shape possible, increasing the chances that you’ll stop getting “nice no thank-yous” and start getting “heck yeahs!”

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Have you noticed a warning sign in your own writing life signaling it’s time to make a change?

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Interview With An Author: Jerry Jenkins


In our Interview With An Author series, Writer’s Relief asks professional writers to share their tried-and-true secrets for publishing success. For over 40 years, Jerry Jenkins has used the art of storytelling to carry life-shifting messages to millions. He’s written an astonishing 187 books, including co-authoring the bestselling Left Behind series. Twenty-one of his books have reached… Continue Reading

A Trending Literary Device: Nameless Characters

Nameless Characters_FI

Many authors agonize over choosing the perfect names for their characters—Jay Gatsby, Binx Bolling, and Scarlett O’Hara are a few character names that are distinctly memorable and well suited. But what about writing characters who are never given a name? While this literary device has been used for centuries, The New Yorker recently noted an uptick of… Continue Reading

Little Free Libraries Can Inspire Reading AND Writing!


Photo by FaceMePLS, Netherlands [CC BY 2.0] /Wikimedia Commons Founded in 2009, the Little Free Library movement promotes literacy and a love of reading by providing free book exchange points in neighborhoods all over the world! Little Free Libraries work on the premise of “take a book; return a book.” These adorable little buildings also help instill a sense… Continue Reading

Is This The Next Generation Of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Books?


The choose-your-own-adventure book is about to get a 21st century digital makeover as Disney has recently released an interactive e-book for children. NYT bestselling author Rick Riordan and Disney have created an app featuring four short stories that allows readers to decide “what happens next” as the tales unfold. What would you like to do next?… Continue Reading

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