The Path To Publication
Today Elizabeth Joy Arnold posted on the BookEnds blog about how luck, perseverance and talent are all needed in order to attain publication. I think I'd add a few things to that. Patience, a rhino hide, and a sense of humor.
Patience. This is an absolute necessity. You will always have to wait. Wait for replies to agent queries. Wait for replies to editor queries. Wait for contracts, wait for advances, wait for royalties. Get used to it.
Rhino hide. Suck it up. You're going to get rejected. Probably hundred of times. Some agents and editors will be great about it. They'll comment on why they are rejecting the writing. Some will be polite about it. Some will do it in a manner that makes you feel like you don't even exist. A few will even be mean about it. You can't do anything about it and if you even think about replying to a rejection, other than a brief and sincere 'thank you', stop yourself.
Sense of humor. With all the waiting and the wondering and the rejection, a sense of humor is absolutely necessary to keep you from tearing your hair out, or as Miss Snark was fond of, setting it on fire. I miss Miss Snark.
For most writers, the path to publication is a long trail with lots of switchbacks and dead ends. And to be honest, I'm not sure it ever really ends for most of us. I suppose a lot of best selling authors don't worry about getting an agent or selling that next manuscript. But maybe they have other things to worry about. You know, movie deals, that sort of thing.