I’ve found that, along with writing as much as possible, writing classes are essential to my writing process. Being in a room full of people who love writing as much as I do and listening to authors talk about their writing process and success fuels me and keeps me going. I always leave excited and ready to continue writing my novel.
Recently, I attended a writing class at my local library with a friend, who is also a writer. The class was called Demystifying the Publishing Process by authors Kathryn Ormsbee and Destiny Soria. I’ll admit, one reason I was attracted to the class was because both girls seemed to be fairly young and were already published—and I wanted to know how they did it.
I’m really glad I went because I learned SO MUCH. Their Presentation is online and easy to navigate if you want to look at it. Basically, they walked the class through the publishing process, step by step. We learned about finding an agent, editing, re-writing, and then actually getting published. It was invaluable.
One question really stuck with me:
“What is the difference between an aspiring novelist and a novelist?”
The novelist finished writing their book.
They just finished. You don’t have to be published to say your a novelist. You may be thinking, um duh, but that really resonated with me and motivated me to finish writing so that I can drop the “aspiring” from novelist.
Probably the best piece of advice for me was to JUST FINISH WRITING. I know that is also fairly obvious, but sometimes writers need to hear someone say: Just finish writing the damn thing so that you can edit, edit, edit, and have something to submit. Getting through this step is where most people fail. They just keep the book in the back of their head and dream about writing it. Finish writing it—even if it is crap—so that you can edit and rework it into something beautiful. Don’t not finish.
I also found the advice on the query letter very helpful. Kathryn had a sample of her own query letter in the presentation and it’s really good. How good? Well, she got multiple offers of representation off that letter, so if you need some inspiration, take a look at what a successful letter looks like.
Another valuable piece of advice was from Destiny. She recommends to keep a spreadsheet of all the agents you find that you want to submit to. Record their email, phone number, genre, and their correct name to submit to. This will keep you organized as you mark down when you submitted your query letter and when you followed up with each agent. You can also keep track of rejections and remember not to submit to that agent again.
I walked away from the class feeling better informed about the entire publishing process. It is hard work—for everyone, not just you. But the writers who go through all the steps and don’t give up are the ones who are successful!
So finish that novel! It’s the first step to becoming a published author. And while your writing, find a few classes to attend to keep you motivated. And find a good writing partner or group that will critique your work. It’s all invaluable to the writing process.
Thanks again Kathyrn and Destiny! What a great class!
Want to follow them?
Twitter & Instagram – @kathsby
Twitter & Instagram – @TheDestinySoria
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