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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Outlast the Competition or Learn to Swim

Interesting blog by Natasha Wing, who's published 22 books and is still dancing with the keyboard.

She wrote the Night Before series, such as The Night Before Kindergarten, a twist on The Night Before Christmas.

Natasha is Picture Book Expert Guide for Children's Book Insider (CBI). Visit them on Facebook and perhaps win a prize for a short story!

Swim around obstacles, join writer's groups, network on Facebook and Twitter, email fans, get an agent, submit, read marketing and writing books, never give up. Write, write, write and you'll outlast your competition.

"Sometimes it's about skill...sometimes it's about luck."

It's stacking the odds in your favor. In the words of Winston Churchill, "never give up, never give up, never give up."

I tried for almost 30 years to publish a book, so I totally "get it." I submitted and polished and submitted again, I let my books gather mothballs and dust bunnies in drawers for years, and then - I learned to write!

I started with articles, gave some poetry and a few articles away for free, began to build a portfolio, started a  blog called The Scribe.

I matured, I found a publisher who was a mentor, I followed advice, she saw something in my work worth coddling and I signed two contracts last year and another two this year.

My ebook called Discovery - An Anthology of Poetry, is presently offered on Kindle Select by Authors for a Cause, and received marvelous help with formatting and promotion from Mark and Allison.

Write because you love it and don't be in a hurry to get published. Keep your day job at least part-time, put your eggs in several baskets, write poetry, articles, nonfiction, fiction, short stories, ghost write, write, write because you LOVE IT.

Make sure your grammar and spelling are perfect. No typos please. Show don't tell. Leave lots of white space. Cut and hire a professional editor. Have a couple of people proofread it. Take constructive criticism and learn from it. Make changes. Go with the smaller publishers, not everyone makes the Big 6 right away.

Consider self publishing but be prepared to put in the effort. Make sure it's as perfect as you can make it. Make sure it's your best work. Be patient.

Develop a fan base. It's not all about you.

One day it will happen. You'll be on your way.

What do you do to stay positive on this writing journey?


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