Getting published: finding your own path and going at your own pace

Hello gentle reader,

In 2010, I wrote a Sci-Fi novel and I sent it to my former English teacher with a question: “Is this good enough to be published?” Incredibly – given the poor quality of my Masterpiece – she didn’t say “NO WAY”. Instead she told me: “If you work hard and you really want this, I don’t see why not.”

So I embarked on my very own publishing journey, full of hopes and dreams. I chose the traditional route, because it was what felt like the best way for me and my stories. It still feels that way, actually.


Soon enough, I found other writers on the same path: people writing a manuscript, or people with a manuscript looking for an agent. I read their blog, followed them on Twitter, made a lot of writerly friends with whom I could share the aforementioned hopes and dreams.

I wrote another novel (a YA High Fantasy), found beta readers and Critique Partners, and after a year I queried it.

It turned out finding an agent who loved my manuscript was even harder than predicted.

At the end of 2012, I made the decision to shelve my YA High Fantasy and to start working on another story.

I began writing a YA Victorian Fantasy.

In the meantime, I started noticing the writing community around me had changed.

Some simply quit and disappeared, sometimes with one last blog post explaining their decision, sometimes without a whisper.

Some got an agent and later on a publishing deal, leaving the shore of unpublished writers for the land of authors.

Others got a publishing deal with a small press or an independent publisher, and saw their book come out within 9 months or a year.

And a staggering, STAGGERING number decided to self-publish.

Now, I’m not criticising the last two publishing paths in the slightest. I just know one thing: those publishing options aren’t for me. Self-publishing is way more work than I can handle, and dealing with a publisher (whatever its size) means I need an agent to tell me what (not) to do.

Three years on, and I now find myself rather lonely on my publishing road.

Out of all the writers I met online or in person in the past 3 years, many, many of them now have a book out or a soon-to-be-published book.

And I’m still walking on the path, with my manuscript in hand and my hopes and dreams with me, forever convinced I will find the right agent and traditional publisher in the end.

And it struck me the other day that maybe I’m not as alone as I think in this situation.

When you spend a lot of time around the writing community, it sometimes feels like EVERYONE you know now has an agent and/or a book out.

But it’s not true. We just hear more about those who have exciting news than about those who are STILL looking for an agent after three years.

So if you’re one of those lonely writers without news for the world, remember this:

–          Going at your own pace is fine. What matters is getting where you want.

–          Don’t give up on your traditional publishing dream because it’s slow to come true.

–          Don’t give up, period.

–          Write the best book you can, and do your best, always. Someone will notice in the end.

–          Enjoy the journey without worrying about what others accomplish. One day, you will accomplish those things too.

And never stop writing.

15 thoughts on “Getting published: finding your own path and going at your own pace

  1. kiperoo says:

    *whispers* There IS still hope.

  2. Erika David says:

    What a beautiful post. You are not alone.

  3. Ambiguous_A says:

    Oh silly Eve. It only feels like the road I lonely behind I’m on that slope behind you, waving and clutching a stitch in my side to try and catch up 😉

  4. michelle4laughs says:

    It took me five years. Believe me, it can be done. But not if you quit.

  5. Carla Cullen says:

    I’m still on that path, slogging away! Keep going! I always tell myself, “You never know what’s around that next corner.”

  6. Marieke says:

    I love this! Never give up! 🙂 You’ll get there! ❤

  7. Wow we have very similar journeys! The going at your own pace thing is very difficult for me. I’m always so eager to get to the submitting part that I tend to rush things. Great post!

  8. diamondnazaneen says:

    Wow, what a journey. I’m so happy to hear how positive you are through this. It’s clear you’re doing what you love and that’s amazing.
    I had no idea it was so hard to find an agent. I guess that’s not too surprising because I don’t know a lot about the publication process. It’s not like you can find an agent on eBay 😀 How do your fellow writers find agents? Is there a common theme among them that seems to gravitate toward meeting the right agent? Makes me wanna ask my writer friends how their agent finding process went >.<

    Great post. I believe in you! You'll find the right agent and I can't wait to read your book when you do!

  9. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve decided to slog it out on the standard publishing route. If you have many years ahead of you that’s great. Some like myself, at the age of 60, have decided they can not and will not wait for some publisher to find them. We are out there, putting our work into the great Epub universe and having fun with it. It is a costly enterprise, but one that I personally enjoy.

    I wish you luck with your endeavor, and hope to see you one day in print from a publisher with an agent, and all the trimmings! 🙂

    My Best Regards,

    Lyle Nicholson

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