My Path to Getting Published – The Blog Tour

In the same spirit of the recent and popular blog tour, “My Writing Process,” Carve has decided to kick start a slightly altered version.

We’re happy to introduce you to the “My Path to Getting Published” blog tour, and our intent is for writers of all stripes to give each other a peek into their trials, tribulations, and successes after the writing is done. The rules are unchanged – answer the questions below on your blog and tag five friends to do the same.

We’ve decided to do this because it’s the post-writing process that sometimes snags us up, partly because we’ve exhausted ourselves during the creative process and partly because the business end requires entirely different muscles.

Every writer is on his or her own singular journey, but when we meet or read a peer’s work, we typically want to ask the same few questions:

1.    Where are you on your publishing path?

2.    How long has it taken you to get there?

3.    What’s your journey looked like thus far?

4.    What’s your future look like?

I’ll be brave and go first.  It’s full disclosure time.

1.    Where am I on my publishing path?

Well, that depends on how I want to look at it. I have yet to be published in print, though I can be found after some serious internet mining.  So, I’ve made headway from my personal starting line where no one had access to my work. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m right where I started, but that’s not entirely true.  This journey begins when you jump in with both feet, after which there’s a lot of flailing. During this time, you grow, though you don’t realize it until a year has passed and you reread the drivel you wrote way back when. So whenever I feel like I haven’t gotten anywhere, I stop and look at where I’ve been.

2.    How long has it taken me to get there?

I’ve spent the past five years with an amazing writing workshop where I hang with a gamut of authors, from seasoned veterans who earn their living writing to fresh-faced newbies who don’t yet realize that the writing part is only half of it.

I came to them as the latter – having never met the inside of a literary journal, not realizing there were such a thing as agents, and not aware that my writing had a million miles to go before it reached shore. Even now, I have no assurance I’ll ever see land. But I keep going because I love this.

3.    What’s my journey looked like thus far?

Rejection. Lots of it. Peppered with an occasional win (like landing this amazing blogging opportunity with Carve) to temper the beat down.

But mostly…rejection. 

Here’s the breakdown, with charts and everything. For those who think there’s an express ferry across this perilous body of water, consider mine a cautionary tale. For those that know an actual safe shortcut, well…

Here it goes anyway. 

Book 1 — 85,000 words — “The Ubiquitous Drawer Novel”

Submission data: None, because it became apparent during workshop that the only thing I’d done correctly in the entire manuscript was punctuation.

Book 2 — 98,000 words — “The Practice Makes Perfect Novel”

Submission data: Retired after 6 rejections because it became evident my newfound, compulsory knowledge on the craft of writing combined with my complete lack of understanding of plot wasn’t going to cut it.

Book 3 — 72,000 words — “The Everything is Practice Novel”

Submission data: see chart below

chart2.png

Book 4 — 74,000 words — “The More I Practice The Luckier I Get Novel”

Submission data: see chart below

table1.png

Short Stories — 16 in all — “The Practice Makes Permanent Shorts”

Submission data: see chart below

chart3.png

4.    What does my future look like?

Obviously I can’t answer this with any certainty. I haven’t made a dime off writing, and I may never. This is somehow okay when you’re doing something you love. 

I recognize that, even after this particular voyage is over, there’s yet another layer of swimming, treading, sinking. The proof is my peers. I have a friend that nipped this process in the bud after writing her first book. I have another who wrote fifteen before landing in the bookstores. I have yet another who had an agent, then lost an agent. One who sold a book, and then no more. One who has worked for years with nothing to show for it but a few complimentary copies of magazines.

Chances are, their future is my future in some capacity. And to be honest, I’m quite all right with that because it means I’ve never given up.

So, there it is — the point of this blog tour: Don’t quit.  This path to getting published, much like the writing process, doesn’t end. Even after landing an agent, you have to land a publisher. Then you have to land a loyal readership. After this, you have to rinse and repeat.

I say to that: Swim on, folks!  Looking forward to seeing you along the way. I’ll be the one with the pen in my hand.

Consider yourself invited! The “My Path to Getting Published” Blog Tour may commence. Tag us at @carvezine once you post, because we’d love to meet you and hear your stories! Hashtag with #mypublishingpath.

Brooke Fossey
Brooke Fossey

Posted by:Brooke Fossey in Dallas, TX. Brooke is a hard-bitten literary gunner who holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Texas A&M and a Masters of Technical Management from Embry Riddle, both of which she’s holstered in favor of raising her four kids with her hubby, Matt. With four novels and a whole passel of short stories on her bandolier, she currently sits at the roundtable of DFW Writers’ Workshop, where she serves simultaneously as Director and Webmaster. Find Brooke on Twitter as @BAFossey.