Some days, you feel like you’re almost there—success is just over the next hill! But other days, it seems like the only thing over the next hill is another, bigger, steeper hill. After receiving your umpteenth rejection, feelings of frustration may begin to drag you down. You start to stumble and wonder if success will ever happen.
How do you get over the hump?
Here Are 5 Core Actions That Can Help You Overcome Publishing Obstacles
Become a dark horse. According to our friends at Merriam-Webster, a dark horse is a competitor who unexpectedly comes from behind and wins. So jump in! Say to yourself, Sure, the odds are against me and the work is grueling, but I’m in it to win it. Then surprise everyone—even yourself! Learn how to become a more confident writer.
Don’t be afraid—submit your writing for consideration. Submitting your writing to editors at literary journals, or to literary agents, can be an intimidating process. But your courageous leap forward will come when you step away from the outcome of your submissions and focus instead on the process. Instead of counting rejection letters, count submissions. Instead of focusing on others’ responses, focus on what you can control: How regularly and professionally you submit.
Quit comparing. You may be tempted to put yourself down because another writer your age, with your experience (or less!) has rocketed to success while you’re still trudging on. But stop right there! You are unique—no other writer is like you. So comparing yourself to anyone else is akin to comparing apples to oranges. If you feel the need to compare, remember: The only person you can ever be better than is yourself.
Ask for support. It can be especially hard to ask for help when it comes to your writing—we authors tend to feel a little bit vulnerable about our creative efforts. In that sense, asking for support is an act of courage. Whether you need a loved one to understand why you need more alone time, or you need to suggest a budget overhaul so that you can get the help you need to make more effective submissions, remember: You don’t know if you don’t ask. The response may be more positive than you expect!
Do something for others. While it’s essential to let go of your fears and shoot for the moon, it’s also important to stay grounded. Volunteer to read stories to kids at the library. Become a tutor or creative writing mentor. Donate books. Raise funds for great literary causes. Feeling positive about your place in the world will inspire you to be bold as a writer.
Remember: Give Yourself Time
One of the great things about being a writer is that you can’t age out of your profession. In fact, maturity and wisdom are advantages for writers, not liabilities. So don’t put pressure on yourself to accomplish your dreams now, now, now. Instead, cultivate patience. Focus on the moment. You’ll be a happier writer—and a better writer too!