Friday, March 13, 2015

Overnight success

So sorry to burst your bubble, rain on your parade, and step on your toes, but there is no such thing as overnight success. Yes, I'm the bearer of bad news, but it's the truth. Success (a.k.a. a published book) comes after years of work, after years of learning and honing one's craft. I'm so thankful to be a part of a critique group. I've met an incredible group of writers there, and I've gotten a first-hand look at the process. Success is a painfully slow, albeit educational, process.

I determined from the beginning of this journey that I wouldn't take any shortcuts. I'll make plenty of mistakes (already have!), but I won't put my desire to be published over quality. By quality, I'm referring to the countless number of self-published books I've seen (and read). I'm not saying self-publishing is wrong, but I've seen far too many self-published books that are simply pathetic. They contain numerous typographical errors and are badly, badly written. Many of the self-published authors I've met are not part of a critique group nor do they desire to hone their craft. They haven't attended any writing conferences or sought to further educate themselves through various professional resources such as SCBWI.

As much as I'd like to be published, I know that, in reality, it could be at least another ten years before I see that success. I'm o.k. with that, too, because I want to see quality. I want to be proud of the work I've put out. However, in all honesty, I'm not ready to be published. I have far too much to learn yet to be at that point. I am learning to be content with where I'm at. I am learning patience, diligence, and self-discipline with writing. I know that overnight success is not what writers are made of.

Writers are, however, a helpful group of people! I love finding resources for the journey. Online resources like blogs, articles, and writing courses are especially appreciated. One great resource comes from a fellow critique group member. My friend Marlys shares some wonderful lessons in writing. Marlys recently won the 2014-2015 SCBWI Writer's Mentorship contest. Again, she confirms the notion that overnight success is really a two-ingredient recipe: hard work and time. Take heart, dear writer! It may not be overnight, but it'll definitely be worth it.