It’s extraordinarily hard to get published. It’s just as difficult to STAY PUBLISHED. Most writers do not live a Stephen King life. They hold other jobs or find other avenues to make money.
Aspiring-to-be-published authors often burn the candle at both ends. They work hard to continue to EXIST in the world, and they make the time to write and submit and pray and hope that their literary dreams will come to fruition. Once they reach the pinnacle of their success, GETTING A DEAL, some – as Niles states – find their writing careers killed as quickly as they began. The reasons? Burnout and what Niles calls “The Vacuum”.
Many published authors have careers outside of writing; once they get that initial deal, they now have TWO careers. It’s easy to get tired. To avoid that, Niles suggests that writers remember to HAVE A LIFE, which to her means “read, talk with friends, go places (near and far), do things, feel things, and sometimes…just…put the writing away for awhile.” Don’t forget that writing is not your WHOLE life; it’s merely a facet. If you lose yourself, you will lose the inspiration to write.
In regards to “The Vacuum,” Niles states that “In vacuum-afflicted writers, this is the emptiness that follows a first sale. Some call it the curse of the three-book deal. Many writers focus on their project exclusively for so many years that once it is out, there is nothing left.”
Unfortunately, most of us can think of that one debut novel we loved and then the emptiness that followed when the author didn’t have any more books come out. It’s important to KEEP WRITING, even while trying to publish the current “love of your life.” Focusing on that one Great American Novel will deflect from your creativity and keep you from writing. Niles suggests that writers should always keep creative files full of story ideas, interesting characters, and snippets of dialogue. If necessary, consider a co-writer. But first and foremost, keep writing…start on the next project while wishing and praying for publication of the one before it.
More TRUTH to come...
Shon Bacon is an author, editor, and educator, whose biggest joys are writing and helping others develop their craft. She has published both creatively and academically and interviews women writers on her popular blog ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her official website, and you can get information about her editorial services at The World According to ChickLitGurrl.