Writing: A 10-Step Program

I made the list below the other day for a friend who is interested in becoming a writer. Sometimes it helps (even if you’re already neck-deep in the process) to see each step simplified–even if there are dozens of substeps hiding under each line item.

10 Steps to Getting Published

Step 1: Finish a book. Give yourself permission to write something horribly rough and completely unrecognizable as a work of fiction. Just get it out on paper.

Step 2: Join up with a writer’s group (preferably one with in-person meetings) for encouragement and motivation. I’m a member of RWA, MMRWA and Finish the Damn Book on Facebook. (Step 1 and 2 are interchangeable, by the way.)

Step 3: Build your writer’s platform (yes, before you’re even published!). Hands down, best place to get advice on building your writer’s platform: https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

Step 4: Find a critique group or partner. Polish that manuscript until it’s sparkly-clean. (Your writer’s group can help you with this!)

Step 5: Decide whether you want to submit to an agent or an editor. If you want to go solo and self-publish… well, that’s a whole new to-do list.

Step 6: Write a pitch/synopsis.

Step 7: Submit to an editor/agent and cross your fingers! Get rejected. (Everyone does and it will happen many, many times.)

Step 8: Drink a glass of wine while you set up a spreadsheet to track your rejections. Submit again.

Step 9: Write another book.

Step 10: Repeat steps 1-9.

Are there any additional steps you would add? Nuggets of wisdom to offer? Feel free to share in the comments!


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