Even if it’s a 1000 word short story sent in to a local competition, always have something out in the market. Getting out there has side effects, so be warned:
- You will always be waking up with a “Wooohoooo what’s going to happen today” feeling.
- You will get so used to rejection that it won’t bother you.
- Even if one piece is rejected, you’ll have something else to send out.
- You’ll be in the market and ready to fly.
- You’ll build up a track record of published material – even if it’s in local magazines and newspapers. So what, published is published and people notice that.
- You learn that the world doesn’t end just because your work wasn’t accepted.
- You learn how to send stuff out and get it noticed.
- You might actually start to have fun.
- Heavens forbid, you might eventually get paid for something!
Your primary focus might be on your novel, but while you’re working that, write a few articles or short stories and put them out there.
Even if you don’t get paid, so what? Eventually you will. In the meantime, you’re building a catalogue of published material, your confidence, and the thickness of your skin.
The more you put yourself out there, the more you’ll sell. The more you sell, the more confident you’ll become. The more confident you feel, the stronger your writing will become. By the time your first novel is ready, so will you be.
You’ll have the right attitude, mental state, and emotional resilience to stand up to the spike-collared-steel-booted-gun-toting market and say “Hello baby face. You really want to play?”
So don’t wait until your first novel is finished. The art of getting into the market needs as much practice as writing for it. So take 30 minutes a day to write a short story or an article and submit it. Submit something every week. Choose a dozen magazines (fiction and non-fiction), study the style, submit a proposal for an article, and get going. Get out there.
When you get a YES, study the letter or email you wrote, carefully read the story or article, and uncover what they liked. Then add that to your first novel.
Nothing is for nothing.
Even a NO has value, so get your work out there.
Happy Writing Today!