Victory Crayne, Author

Victory Crayne

Why Beginning Writers Have So Much Difficulty Gaining Success

Beginning, Writers, Writing, Success

Why Beginning Writers Have So Much Difficulty Gaining Success

Beginning writers cannot see the weaknesses of their own writing and are blinded by the glow of having created something new. A novel is a major time consuming project and a writer becomes a little bit drunk on it during the months it takes to finish it.

Ninety-nine percent of all manuscripts from beginning writers are simply not good enough to be published. Yet all beginning writers try to publish. Then they bang their heads against the "wall of rejection" and complain that it is so hard to get published and hard to sell well.

What they fail to understand is the lesson here.

If your story is poorly designed and written, its chance of success is poor. If your story is well designed and written, its chance of success is much better. Even then, it may not be easy to get a publisher or book reader to recognize it. Why? Because of all the junk from beginning writers that floods the market.

Why do I mention "design"? Because most beginning writers get an idea for a story and immediately start running with it, without paying any attention to design. The drunken rush they get from creating something new blinds them to the need. Design is hard work. Why bother with design when you can have so much fun just writing?

The lesson is plain. It is not your fun that counts here. It is the fun that readers experience that counts.

Because of the glow from creating, most beginning writers cannot see whether others will enjoy reading what they write. That's one major reason why critique groups are so important. "Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, co-authors of "The One Minute Manager"

So I suggest that instead of complaining about the slush pile, form rejection letters, and how hard it is to get people to read your new writing--let alone buy it--that you instead participate in critique groups. Get feedback. And then listen to the feedback. Most of the time, a beginning writer will be amazed at how many weaknesses others point out.

Why so many weaknesses revealed? Because the critics are not drunk on the glow of creating your words. They are your first line of readers. They tell you what effect your words really have.

Most beginning writers are at the 40 percent mark on the way to success. If they can't even properly use the major tool of their trade, English, then they are at the 20 percent mark. You have to be at the 99 percent mark to have success.

It will take you years to learn all the lessons that await you as you travel on your journey to success. Learning those lessons takes time. You need the education. As Daniel J. Boorstin said, "Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know."

Participate in critique groups. Read books on the craft of writing fiction. Maybe even go to a class on creative writing. Settle in for years of practice and learning.

That's one major reason why most authors who do become successful write four or more novels before they "get it."

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