Wicklund's Long Road to Publication

Today I'm excited to welcome Cynthia Wicklund to Sling Words.

Cynthia recently saw the publication of her first novel Lord of Always. By first, I mean first published, not first written. Definitely not first written! And that's what Cynthia, as my Guest Blogger, has written about.

The Long Road to Publication

Is there a positive side to waiting a long time to be published?

I’ve often wondered about that because a long and often arduous wait can ultimately destroy enthusiasm and, frankly, hope. Thus, finding a positive in what feels like a significant negative is a struggle. Perhaps I’m looking to justify my own journey, but overall I do feel I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.

Years ago my first manuscript was requested several times, and I even got an agent. I thought I was on “my way.” The book did not, however, sell. The subsequent rejections were crushing (newbie response), but I admit just below the disappointment was a sense of relief. Relief? Yep, I wasn’t ready. I knew it then, and I understand why now.

Navigating the world of publishing can be intimidating. I was afraid to “bother” my agent, for pity sake. Rookie mistakes can stall a career before you’ve had a chance to get it off the ground. There’s a protocol, the way things are done. Unless you’re the next Harper Lee, you’d best understand that.

The business of publishing aside, what about improving your craft? Rejection means you need to try harder, right? That’s what it meant for me. Classes and critique groups and entering and judging contests. I learned how to edit my own work through editing other writers. I learned how to plot. How to take rejection without losing my confidence. Well, for the most part. But over time, I improved as a writer. I know I did.

Most important, I came to realize why I write in the first place. If my goal above all else had been to be published, I’m convinced a protracted wait would have ended my ambitions long ago. But I love to write, and that love is what has sustained me. Publication is merely the icing on the cake.

Cynthia is dipping her toe into the blogging pool with Blogger In Spite of Herself so feel free to visit her there.

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