Leap and the net will appear. This Zen phrase has been cropping up in odd places in my life lately, most recently on a scrolling marquis at the dinosaur museum as I drove past. And it made me think. How can we as writers put this into practice?
The biggest hurdle. First, let's take a look at the biggest hurdle. I spoke with Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine, at a local bookstore. We were discussing her journey to publication, and she made a comment that struck me: "The hardest part about getting published is finding an agent; once you achieve that, things get easier." Many of you who follow this blog are striving to find an agent, and I want you to realize that just by being here, by learning all you can about this industry, you are improving your chances of success. You are already on your way to surmounting the biggest hurdle.
The trait you need most. I've heard this time and time again from authors, agents, editors, etc. In order to succeed in this biz you need perseverance. To quote bestselling author Jodi Picoult, "Writing is grunt work - you need to have self-motivation, perseverance, and faith… talent is the smallest part of it." Perseverance is something we blogged about in 7 Characteristics You Need to Get Published. So if you run into a wall, don't give up - figure out how to climb over it.
Dare to Be Remarkable. If you don't believe in yourself, why should an agent or editor take a chance on you? The key is to go forth with confidence in all you do. How? Here's a good place to start: Commit one act of bravery per day. Comment on an agent's blog, join a discussion in a forum, make contact with an author you admire, query your dream agent. Before long, these daily acts of bravery will become second nature, and you'll discover that you have built the bridges that will lead to your success.
Go ahead - make the leap!