We’ve all heard the sayings...
Enjoy the Journey. Or It’s not about the outcome but the process.
And the path to becoming a published author allows for plenty of opportunity to embrace either of these sayings. Long, long, solitary hours. Tons of rejection. Ongoing critiques. Quandaries regarding the market. So some validation (like a refreshing sip of Gatorade during a 26 mile marathon) can be invaluable.
So how does a writer get that validation for continuing this arduous process?
Here are a few suggestions I’ve used.
Entering contests. A writer can earn validation for their work with positive comments from judges. Maybe earn a finalist qualification to use in query letters. A win will boost confidence to carry on and the win may even bring interest from an agent or editor judging the contest. Incredible validation for the process.
A critique group can help confirm that the writer’s work is improving, or moving in the right direction.
A professional editor or writing coach can offer guidance, support and corroborate markets all of which is incredibly helpful and supportive of the work.
Conferences can provide support and camaraderie with others who are enduring the same often lonely struggle.
Workshops online or in person not only offer wisdom and learning but also support and critique.
Querying agents and editors can prove to be a source of validation if comments are gleaned, or requests for partials or a full is made.
Publishing shorter pieces while on the journey with novel length can be validating.
Self-publishing. Although I haven’t tried this yet. I assume self-publishing and getting readers to buy or download your book and then getting reviews would verify the process.
So you don’t have to stumble along on the long journey to publication without earning some kudos. So if you’re in need of motivation try out one of more of these.
Feel free to comment and/or add any of your personal validation techniques.