Am I Really Meant To Be A Writer? – Stages Every Writer Goes Through On The Journey Part 1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the beginning of the writing journey I was confident that I was meant to be a writer. After all, how hard could it be?

HARD!!

Sometimes it helps to understand that you are not alone in each stage of the journey. Most of us grow through the following stages, although they might not look exactly the same.

Find yourself in the list below. Enjoy the moment you are in and trust that each stage has a purpose.

STAGE ONE Of THE WRITER’S JOURNEY: BEGINNER

989421_32003643This stage we recognize pretty easily. A newbie, bright-eyed and ready to take the writing world by storm.

I laugh now to look back and see how naive I was about the process. It’s a good thing though. If I truly knew how difficult it was to get published, I might not have been so confident.

Never despise your beginnings because they are part of the journey and each of us has been there.

STAGE TWO OF THE WRITER’S JOURNEY:  EMERGENT

1361797_52190285You have been writing for a while. You may have finished your first manuscript. Writing still captivates you and you are learning lots of new things about writing.

During this stage you may have attended your first writing retreat or conference. There are many things that you are still unaware of in regards to submitting a polished manuscript, but you seek new information.

STAGE THREE OF THE WRITER’s JOURNEY:  SKILLED

You’ve got a finished manuscript that you’ve polished to the best of your557104_48339473 ability and you are beginning to consider submitting your book to an editor or agent for consideration.

You are learning to pitch your book and may attend a major conference with the intention of getting invitations to submit your work.

Contests are part of your repertoire of learning experiences and you may be finding some success in this area.

STAGE FOUR OF THE WRITER’S JOURNEY:  PROFICIENT

Professor at workThis is the last ten percent of the journey to publication. It seems to be the most discouraging for many writers. You’ve put in hour upon hour honing your craft.

You’ve attended conferences and received requests for a full manuscript, but you are still waiting for a publisher to LOVE your writing.

You’ve had to deal with rejection and experienced some success. Waiting is something you have grown accustomed to, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

You are likely agented, or soon will be.

Wednesday we will take a look at the stages and how you can maximize your experiences as you journey to publication.

What is the most difficult thing for you in the stage of the journey you are in?

 

 

 

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

12 thoughts on “Am I Really Meant To Be A Writer? – Stages Every Writer Goes Through On The Journey Part 1

  1. The waiting is always the hardest part. Even after being contracted, you still wait. Wait to make revisions, wait to hold the actual book in your hand…wait for you head to clear and you can plug the holes in your plot–that’s where I am right now. lol

  2. Hi Michelle –
    I agree with Pat. Waiting is tough. But it’s also tough to know if I should self-publish. I have writer friends who insist it’s the way to go. There are pros and cons with both scenarios. But patience isn’t one of my virtues, and I love the entrepreneur part of being a writer/author so a part of me wants to break out of the chains binding me to an agent and waiting for a publisher. Could this be a control issue? Ha! Quite possibly. For now, I’ve decided to keep writing and wait for a traditional publisher. I’m really trying to enjoy the ride! But it would be nice to feel validated and have readers reading my novels. I’m excited to share my most recent one–a suspense novel with a touch of romance. Sigh! (Cache a Fallen Limb)
    It really, really helps knowing you and Pat and Delores (and the rest of the Clearwater crew) are still writing. I don’t feel so alone.
    Thanks, MIchelle
    The “other” M

  3. nrsims says:

    I have an editor interested in my manuscript–and a contract due in a week. The tough part is, I have no agent and no idea how to navigate these waters. I’ve gotten advice that the contract seems fair except for these items…and other advice that I should really reconsider, from two different agents who were nice enough to take a look at the contract. The book is the first in a series, so the last thing I want is to tie myself down with a “bad” contract. Ugh! And I thought the writing was the hard part! I guess it’s a good problem to have, but the clock is ticking and I am at a loss…

    • Michelle Lim says:

      One thing I would consider is how reputable the agents that looked at it are. If they are from one of the reputable agencies, then be extremely cautious if they were concerned about this contract. If the agents believe that your writing is ready, they may be willing to represent you. The second thing I would do is look at the reputability of the publishing house. Realize that great publishing houses are still in business for themselves, so it is important to look out for yourself. There are literary attorneys and a wide range of industry professionals skilled in contract issues. I will be praying for you to have wisdom. It is always difficult when you are new to any experience to know the best route to follow.

  4. nrsims says:

    Oh, add to that, Michelle that I just sat in on the Monday night chat and also got advice from a published author and see all kinds of opportunity for improvement. So now I’m concerned about putting a book out there that, while good, could be so much better. Again, decisions, decisions.

    • Michelle Lim says:

      Well, here is the trick. Our books could always get better and better. We should always strive to make our work the personal best we can for that place in the journey. Remember, that also means you can only make it your personal best. There is a time when we either have to hit send, or sit something aside until we are more prepared to improve it. The advice of the published author is something I would consider. If they write in your genre or read a lot in your genre, they may be able to give you a sense for if they think it might be ready.

      If it is your first book, you are going to want it to be the best you can make it to break into the market with sizzle. You will get some assistance from editors in the editing phase, depending on the house you publish with.

      Should you send it out there? Here are my thoughts in a concise list:

      CRAFT:
      1. Ask yourself, is this my person best for where I am right now?
      2. What advice have I received from industry experts on my writing craft?

      INdustry:
      3. Is the house that wants to contract my book publishing books that are doing well in the market?
      4. What advice have the agents and industry experts had about contract and the readiness of my manuscript?

      I hope these thoughts were helpful. Bottom line, you have to spend some time in prayer once you have gathered all of the information. Don’t jump ahead of where you should be just to be published, but if the timing is right and God leads that way, then jump with confidence. Praying for you!

  5. Michelle Lim says:

    You are so welcome! Navigating the writing path is often complicated.

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