Everybody says the path to publication is long and bumpy--and it is--and I'm no exception. Yeah, it took seven and a half years of full-time effort to get the first yes. Yeah, I nearly chucked it all four years in. Yeah, I had down times. Yeah, I submitted and resubmitted. Yeah, I was rejected. Yeah, I've still got a hole in the drywall of my office to show for the years of frustration.
The thing is, though, the "path to publication" doesn't end with the first yes.
At this point in my career, I think of "path to publication" not as I did in the beginning--as my name at the bottom of a contract. I think of it as figuring out what your own successful niche is as a writer. What gives you the most satisfaction, allows you to put out work at the right pace, makes you the amount of money you need to exist?
I'll admit, I'm still figuring it out. I've pubbed with a small house and two of the "Big Five." I've published in multiple genres for multiple age groups. Within the next few weeks, I'll start branching out into independent publishing. The first release will be a New Adult rom-com (another new age group and genre).
The thing is, getting a "yes" from the publishing world is an important step...But now, I'm asking myself, "What makes ME say yes?" That is, where do I most happily intersect with my readers? Where does my career most happily intersect with the rest of my life--allowing for room to explore within the industry AND room to breathe?
Jury's still out...But I'm anxious to find out what I learn on the next step of the journey...