‘Not giving up’ is pretty much the closest thing there is to a ‘recipe to success’. If you keep on trying then you haven’t yet failed, you’ve just changed tactics. Each time you try you create a new opportunity to be successful and that way you can play the numbers – eventually things are likely to go your way.
These are all a bit cliché but they’re also true – and they’re especially true for writers and romance writers. Often, the ability to capture the attention and representation of an agent or editor comes down to timing. Persistence increases your odds of getting a “yes” and achieving your romance writing dreams.
And if you self publish then you’re absolutely going to have to be persistent.
Why? Because the more you write and publish, the better your sales.
If you’re going to make a living as a romance writer…
Often though, we fail to stick at things after the first or second failure. This is a huge mistake, so it’s important that we analyze precisely what causes this behavior in order to try and overcome it…
Here are some of the big reasons writers tend to quit…
Effort and Time
One of the biggest reasons we tend to give up and stop being persistent is that whatever it is we’re doing takes time. If you’re writing queries and not getting a positive response, this can often seem like a big waste of time.
But the point to remember is that your failed attempts are not in fact time wasted. Rather, they are like training sessions or practice rounds where you will have improved yourself and learned valuable things. The best way to ensure you keep trying though is to pursue something that you enjoy so much, you would be happy to continue trying without reward.
Another big reason why we often give up trying is that it can damage our ego when we fail. If you’ve failed to get positive feedback from your last three agent submissions, then you’ll be putting your ego through the ringer each time – especially when you have to tell your friends. Thus we often make excuses to give up with the intention of protecting ourselves – even if we don’t know that’s what we’re doing.
The solution might be to find ways to remove your ego from the equation. It can often be better not to tell friends and family about your submissions – if that’s going to prevent you from following through. And remember that it’s often a numbers game. You’re a good writer, eventually you’ll get the response you want.
In many cases we don’t persist because we don’t want to ‘be a bother’. I’ve struggled with this when it takes an agent or editor longer than it should to get back to me. I worry that my “check in email” might just irritate them and then I won’t get published. While this might sound reasonable on paper, the reality is that you’re actually giving up on your dream or career prospects in order to be less of a nuisance. Like it or not, being persistent is often what you have to do to make things happen for you!
Consider ways that you can be more persistent in achieving your romance writing dreams and goals. What have you done in the past and how can you overcome these challenges?