Monday, May 13, 2019

People always say they want to take their writing to the next level. Well, what are the levels, as you see them?

I don't know. What is YOUR definition of success?

I've been writing professionally for around 27 years now. for the last five or so, I'm actually making a full living at my writing. Sometimes just barely, but there it is.

here are a few levels I'd consider.

Level one: I'm writing.

Excellent! What are you writing? When are you writing? Are you following a schedule? ARE YOU FINISHING THE PROJECTS YOU START?

The last two are the important ones. Make a schedule and stick to it. Finish what you start. That last one is a killer for a lot of careers.

Level Two: Are you submitting?

if you aren't you're never gonna sell a damned thing.

Level three (interchangeable with level two.): Did you finish a project?

Same answer. In this day and age, the chances are incredibly slim that any publisher especially among the big 5, is going to consider your work if the manuscript isn't complete.
No. Seriously. Not kidding.

Level Four: Did you get an agent?

Gonna have to happen. Good luck! Mind you, I spent most of my career until five years ago without an agent. Yes, I sold the vast majority of my work all by myself. Do you know about contracts? No? Either learn or get an agent They're about equally difficult.

But, Jim, what if I want to self-publish?

Knock yourself out. SERIOUSLY consider an editor, a layout freelancer and an artist for book co0vers because 1) You can't edit yourself worth a damn. no matter how good you think you are. 2) Layouts are a nightmare and sometimes it's worth the invested time and money to get it done right. 3) You nephew's picture? The one you keep on the fridge? Probably isn't going to be good enough to catch anyone's attention. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are rare.

Level Five: Did you finish a novel? Did it get into print?

Excellent! Rinse and repeat.

Level Six: Did you survive the reviews?

We've discussed this before. G0od review? Cool! Move on. Bad review" Sucks! Move on.

Level Seven: Have you developed a thick skin?

Work on it You'll need it.

Level Eight: Are you making a living at this yet?


monkey, dance!


  1. I love this post. And yes, that look? Has flashed through my mind many a time as I've stared at my keyboard. Cheers!