Need help submitting your writing to literary journals or book publishers/literary agents? Click here! →
Seven Common Reasons Why Great Writers Get Stuck In Career Ruts
Not taking a professional approach to the submission process. This might be the number one reason that very good writers fail to launch careers that are as impressive as their writing skills. Without a strong, professional submission strategy, even the best writers will see very few publications in their lifetimes.
If you’re ready to get help from publishing road warriors—the Writer’s Relief Review Board is open now! For a limited time, you can take advantage of this chance to join our list of very happy clients.
We have opportunities for writers of:
- Short Stories
- Novels, Memoirs, Books
This is the perfect time to shift your submission strategy into high gear—before the September publishing rush is on!
Giving up too quickly. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard a writer say, “I submitted my manuscript to ten markets, and since no one wanted it, it must be no good.” It’s heartbreaking to hear that some very talented writers give up too quickly on their submissions. Here at Writer’s Relief, we never give up on a strong submission; we will send it to at least 100 markets before asking the writer to go back to the drawing board to revise. Why so many? We’ve seen that 99th submission strike gold too many times to count! Don’t give up; instead, get help. Contact Writer’s Relief.
Comparing your writing career to someone else’s. Nothing can get a writer down more quickly than jealousy: Why is her crummy story getting published and my great story is not? Instead, try to be genuinely happy for your fellow writers—and be happy for yourself when you succeed!
Sabotaging yourself. Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies. Feelings of unworthiness, shame, and doubt can keep a writer from succeeding just as surely as a rejection letter can.
Rushing. Whether a writer rushes the revision process or rushes into submissions to literary agents or editors, pushing forward without proper preparation is a common mistake. It’s easy to embrace the buzzy feeling of excitement that comes when you’re on the brink of a new adventure, but take care not to let it mislead you. Give your drafts time to marinate. Spend extra time on your query letters. You only get one chance to make a great first impression.
Making assumptions. Some writers make assumptions about the submission process (that they don’t need to learn industry etiquette). Others make assumptions about editors (that proofreading isn’t really that important). And still others make assumptions about what they believe other people should do for them (that agents should handle marketing) or about their own responsibilities (that social media isn’t important).
Don’t assume. Instead, learn, read, network, and ask questions so that you can understand what it is you don’t yet know.
Negative thinking. A good outlook keeps you looking forward to what’s next. It motivates you to knock on doors, meet new people, and try new things. The same can’t be said for negative thinking. Don’t let negative thoughts put the brakes on your desire to get out there and take chances.
If You Suspect You Might Have Hit A Writing Career Roadblock…
The first thing to do is to identify the primary obstacles that are tripping you up. By acknowledging your weak points—and accepting them without judgment—you can take smart steps to move past them.
Remember: Each writer has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on what you’re good at by focusing your energies on your strengths. Then, enlist help to overcome your weak points.
Make sure your writing is first out of the gate and into the hands of agents and editors this autumn!
Question: Which of our seven roadblocks have you hit? How did you get over it?