From the President: The Road to Publication
The road to publication is fraught with bumps and potholes—some of them huge. If I had known the difficult path to publication 30 years ago, I would have run the other way—before the need to write took over completely. When I first started out, there wasn’t a lot of support for writers. I’m thankful there are now places a writer can go for help.
ACFW is one of those places
To review quickly, your organization offers:
- Critique group (large and small) to give you feedback on your story.
- A novel track program to motivate you and help you go from writing the first draft to getting it ready to send out to an editor or agent.
- An online course to learn and fine tune various parts of writing and the business from plotting to marketing.
- “The End” program to encourage you to finish a book.
- And the networking and support you can receive from the various loops from the genre loops to the main one.
You have to work hard to learn your craft, with no guarantee you will sell.
Those resources, as well as others, are there to help you be the best you can be by answering your questions along the journey. But you have to access them and use them. You have to work hard to learn your craft, with no guarantee you will sell.
When you hit a roadblock—or a fork in the road—and you will somewhere along the road, you will have to adjust your attitude, maybe your goals, and decide if you want to keep going. Talent is important, but determination and perseverance are even more important. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t sit down and write the book, polish it, then send it in, you will not sell.
Hard work continues
Along the road there will be minefields that explode when you least expect them.
Even if you sell your first book, don’t think the hard work is over—that you’ve arrived and there will be no more problems. I remember thinking years ago, “Someone loved my book enough to buy it. I have it made!” Along the road there will be minefields (like a publisher closing a line or an editor you work well with leaving) that explode when you least expect them.
Of course, selling that second book is often harder. You can never take the writing for granted. Keep learning your craft and growing as a writer. Keep networking. Keep in tune with the market. ACFW offers you one of the best places to do all three—our conference held each year in September.
Worth it all
Remember the road to publication is bumpy, there may be rocks in the road, but there is no feeling like holding your first published book in your hand or having people tell you your story touched them. When you fulfill God’s vision for you, that is an awesome feeling. His vision may be different from one person to the next, but as long as we have done what we can, then we come out winners.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about your road to publication. Contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.