My plan this year was to entry as many competitions as I could, while writing a novel. Now this may seem like a crazy thing to do as all those words could be used to write the novel.
The thing is that a lot of non-writing friends and family don’t understand how long it takes to get a novel published, or even how many hours are spent rewriting a single sentence or paragraph to get it just right. I’m always pleased when someone asks how I’m getting on with my writing, but when I tell them, ‘Oh, I’m still working on the novel,’ I can see in their eyes confusion and puzzlement as to them, a year or even three seems to be forever just to write one little book and get it published.
There was a guy I worked with, who was an avid reader, after ten years of listening to me about chatting on about ‘how to’ books I had read while learning about writing and getting published, said ‘There’s hell of a lot goes into writing a book I didn’t know about. It’s not easy getting published is it.’
Since have at least one short story published a year and winning two writing competitions since leaving work three years ago has helped to take the pressure off me and given them the chance to read some of my writing too.
Personally myself, I think self-publishing has made things hard for the likes of me who choose not to go down that route to publishing. Most non-writing people don’t understand why I choose not to as they see being published as the main goal in writing and expect you to be published and an overnight success in the same way as winning x-factor makes you into a superstar.