The Elusive Goal of Getting Published


I recently came upon an important anniversary. A year ago was my last day working a full-time job. With my husband’s support, I decided to give this writing thing a go.

I dove into the writer life. Sink or swim. Publish or bust.

I set some goals:

Write every day. Finish a manuscript. Work on the craft. Read published novels. Learn. Join a writer’s group. Increase my social media presence. Blog. Get published.

I’ve done everything on that list, except get published. It was the most important goal I set, and I haven’t accomplished it.

And honestly, I feel kinda crappy about that.

I guess I felt like I had something to prove. To whom? Maybe to my ex-coworkers? Maybe to my family and friends? Maybe to myself? Who knows.

Getting published within a year of leaving my job would’ve been so sweet. It would’ve been the perfect culmination for what I’ve done with my time off. Proof. Palpable, tangible proof. Go-to-Amazon-and-see-my-book-Booyah!-proof.

And anyone who works in corporate America knows how important it is to have proof. Whether it’s in dollars, numbers, or content. It should be tangible, palpable proof.

And I don’t have it. I don’t have the published book.

But guess what? It’s okay. I didn’t meet my one-year timeline, but it’s o-kay. Because I’m working on it. I like working on it. Working on it makes me happy.

And I know that one day, I will have a published book. It may take a year-and-a-half. It may take two. Or five. (*cringe* Please, not five.) But it will happen. I know that because I’ve set all of these other goals, and I’ve accomplished them. So why should this be any different?

In the meantime, I’ve got proof, besides a published book, that makes me happy and proud. I’ve got this blog. And all the posts I’ve done here. I’ve got the newsletter I started. The video trailers I’ve created. The tweeting on Twitter. And the facing on Facebook…or whatever.

And I’ve got stories. Stories that aren’t long enough for books. Stories that have been bumbling around in my head. But I can add them to my proof.

“If you have a good idea, get it out there. For every idea I’ve realized, I have ten I sat on for a decade till someone else did it first. Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE.” Joss Whedon

I don’t have a book published, but I am going to start posting some serialized stories right here on my blog. Because it makes me happy. And being happy really is the big goal, isn’t it?

As you work on getting published, what things are you doing to make yourself happy? How are you dealing with the elusive goal of getting published? How are you adding to your proof?

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Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

6 thoughts on “The Elusive Goal of Getting Published

  1. I am not resilient enough – or probably good enough, at least yet – to try to get ‘proper print published’. I very quietly self publish, with a tiny promo budget. Good for you getting out there and sending query letters. I am thinking of trying a short story with the goal of a magazine or e-zine, not snobby about which, it’s a goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are further along the path than me, though I have been writing a daily blog for a little over a year. I only left my job in August to get out of the corporate grind and do the “freelance” thing to see if I can make a go of it. I want to read your stories! I look forward to reading more of what you put out here at least. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not there yet. One day though. Luck and talent.
    This time last year I started my blog. Who knows where I’ll be next year.
    Good luck to you! I hope you find the right publisher/agent who gets you and connects with your story. It’s so hard, because it’s just one person’s opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good-luck wishes. I hope this will be the year that things fall in place for getting published. We shall see! I will check out your blog and follow you! –RP


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