It goes without saying that we have to study the craft of writing, perfect our skills, and have an excellent story. But sometimes that's not enough to get noticed and move ahead.
Are there ways for unpublished writers to get an advantage, to get a few steps closer to the door? Here's my list again, and then I've added all of your ideas for getting an advantage:
- Win a writing contest.
- Find an incredible, fresh, never-been-touched story idea.
- Look for an untapped niche in the genre market.
- Meet an editor or agent at a writing conference and spark their interest.
- Make regular comments on agent blogs.
- Hire the help of a professional editor.
- Target specific agents for our genre.
- Make friends with an author who can pass along your manuscript.
- Think outside the box and be flexible.
- Never, ever give up; writing is subjective.
- Submit new works consistently to the same editors.
- Share our writing widely.
- Volunteer at a conferences or workshops.
- Trust God and pray for guidance.
Will doing any of these things really help move us ahead?
From personal experience I can say that finaling in a contest gave me a push to the top of the slush pile. But I did many of the other things listed above too: I found a fresh story idea, hired a professional editor, targeted specific agents, never gave up, and ultimately trusted God for guidance.
Often it's the combination of hard work and perseverance that eventually pays off. So, my question for you today is this: What is your next step? Which of the above suggestions are you working on to give you more of an advantage? Are there any new things you need to try?
More about my experience with professional editing tomorrow. . .