Does it ever get easier?

Does it ever get easier? I can’t speak for all writers, only for myself, but the answer to that question is “No.” I’ve had 27 books published (a small number compared to many writers), but I still have to submit query letters and synopses, and I still have to wait… and wait… and wait for responses. Sometimes those responses never come. Many agents note in their submission guidelines that no answer in two weeks is a no.

When I was new to writing/publishing I thought all I needed to do was get one book published and the rest would be easy. For some writers this is true, that is as long as their books sell well and bring in the big bucks. But many a “mid-list” writer has discovered it’s easy only for a while (while their numbers are good) and then they’re dropped and once again looking for a publisher.

Even writing the book hasn’t become easier for me. Oh, I’ve had a couple stories that seemed to write themselves, but usually I start out strong and about midway into the story say, “Why did I ever consider myself a writer? This sucks,” or “Where do I go from here?” My only consolation is I understand many writers (even some of the big name authors) have had similar thoughts.

With some writers once is enough. Take, for instance, Margaret Mitchell or Harper Lee. I don’t know if they simply didn’t think they could top their classic best sellers or if that was the only story they wanted to write, but I do know some writers who do well with their first book fear they’ll never top that success and freeze up.

So, no, it doesn’t get easier, but if you’re like me the story ideas keep coming and the imaginary characters keep talking, and the only relief is to write down the words. And what is easier nowadays is writers are not limited in how a book is published. Smaller publishing houses are willing to take a chance on stories that may not look like blockbusters; agents aren’t the only way to get through to a publisher; and E-books have put the reader in charge of what will or will not sell.

Don’t expect it to get easier, but don’t let that stop you. Write, edit, submit, and promote. The journey is worth it.

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5 Responses to Does it ever get easier?

  1. Melissa Keir says:

    I agree Maris. I get stuck and doubt myself all the time, but since I write for my own happiness, I’m going to keep plugging along. I hope you know that I’m always here as a shoulder or ear should you need it!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Melissa, thanks for the offer of an ear or shoulder. Sometimes that’s all I need, just a chance to talk it out. If I don’t get myself past this mid-point on my WIP, you just might get a call. However, I think my biggest problem is it’s summer and that pool looks way too inviting. 🙂

  2. Diane Burton says:

    You’re right–it never gets easier. I always get stuck around chapter 8. Never fails. It takes time to get past that. Sometimes I do research, other times I’ll have to do more in depth character assessment. Then something clicks and I get back to the story. I understand the pool beckoning, though.

  3. I haven’t been at it as long as a lot of people, but I really can’t say that the seventh book was any easier to write than the first. But since all my titles have gone through the same small epublisher, I think the submission process is easier now because I know what the publisher wants as far as format, accepted language, etc. and I can gear my writing toward that. And knowing that I’m too impatient to wait for traditional publishers, I’ll probably stick to epublishing.

  4. Lucy Kubash says:

    Nope it sure doesn’t get easier, but what I am finding out as I rewrite my older stories is that sometimes I read one and think to myself, “Hey, that was pretty good. Did I really write that?” It kind of gives me the feeling that if I did it before I can do it again. It does seem we have to keep re-inventing our writing selves. But at least we do have all those other options nowadays.