In the next few months, I’ll be putting out multiple stories in multiple genres. I can’t believe it’s been a year since the first time I published, because so much has changed. But mostly, I’ve come to a lot of new realizations about writers and what prevents them from actually getting published.
Fear. It’s amazing to see all these intelligent, gifted, wonderful people who still have yet to publish a single thing. I look at their work and ask myself, what is stopping them? Perhaps some are waiting to go a more traditional publishing route, which means being published is less in their control. But for the most part, the people I meet are simply afraid. They take their projects 90% of the way, but never go the final 10%.
So what do they need to know?
If they have done some or all of the following things, chances are they are ready to publish:
- Run their work through a critique group
- Run their work through alpha and/or beta readers
- Got an editor
No, they probably don’t want to write something and throw it on Amazon, “just to see what happens.” But if you’ve taken the steps to create a quality story, why not take the chance and see what happens if you let readers see it? Publish your work!
Some people will hate it. Some people will love. And maybe, through reviews, writers may discover some of their areas of weakness.
The process is hard. I feel it’s akin to asking someone on a date or interviewing for a job. You lay a piece of yourself out for the world to respond to, knowing that you have a chance of getting hurt. One of my first negative reviews simply stated that my story was too short. I remember feeling confused, and a little sad. I decided to mention in an additional spot that my story was in fact a short story. It hurt a little to see the negative review, but it also told me that maybe readers need the length of a story very clearly stated, so I did get to learn something from it.
Even the best writers are afraid when they publish. So if you’ve been waiting to take that next step, don’t stop at 90%. It’s time to see your project all the way through.