Tuesday, September 1, 2015

19 Things to Remember When Publishing Doesn’t Go Your Way

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

It’s easy to get discouraged in the writing industry. It’s a tough business, and as they say on Project runway, “One day you’re in, and one day you’re out.”

So what’s a writer to do?

Here’s my list of things to remember when publishing doesn’t go your way:

1. We always have a choice, we can get stronger through adversity or defeated by it. This is true in life, and also in publishing.

2. Failure is an option, but it’s not as bad as you think. Some of my most valuable lessons have come through repeated failure. The key is to not let failure stop you.

3. Publishing is subjective business. What one editor loves, another hates. Don’t let one or two opinions stop you in your tracks.

4. It’s important to cultivate a positive attitude. Having a positive outlook doesn’t mean you ignore the negative, you just don’t let it defeat you.

5. The best opportunities are often disguised as problems.

6. Success has nothing to do with perfection. It’s important to strive to be the best we can be. But perfection is out of reach. Don’t let a lack of it hold you back.

Every writer needs a tribe.
7. Every writer needs a tribe. We need others traveling a similar path to encourage us and hold us accountable.

8. Every writer’s journey is different. Although we need companions, we have to remember our path is unique. Comparing your opportunities and milestones are not a productive use of your time.

9. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. We all are afraid of things—failure, the blank page, not living up to expectations. But the courageous writer continues on in spite of fear.

10. Publishing is five percent talent and ninety-five percent perseverance. The tide will turn. It may seem like your turn with success with never come, but that’s only true if you quit.

The harder the climb, the better the view
11. The harder the climb, the better view. When we work for something, we value it more.

12. Publishing is a process, not a destination. We look at others ahead of us and feel like they’ve arrived. Truthfully, no one has ever arrived.

13. It takes as long as it takes. There are so many things that go into the publishing equation. The key is to not rush the process.

14. In this business, a lot of success does come from who you know. Networking is vital. Learn the lesson early and you’ll find the path easier.

15. You are stronger than you think. So often we underestimate ourselves. Stop and look back at what you’ve already accomplished and give yourself a pat on the back.

16. Every writer struggles with insecurity. It doesn’t matter if we’ve never published a book or published fifty. The blank page remains an enemy to be vanquished.

17. Nothing lasts forever, not even the writing slumps.

18. Flexibility is key. We can make plans, but just because things don’t turn out the way we hope is no excuse to give up.

19. Finally, remember these words, A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

These are the things I try to remember when publishing gets tough. What would you add to the list? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


“Flexibility is key,” plus 18 other thing toremember on the #writing journey - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Thank you for these wise and encouraging words, Edie! Keep them coming! :-)

  2. I read your post.it was amazing.Your thought process is wonderful.

  3. So helpful! Am re-tweeting! Great stuff~~~

  4. Stay true to your vision. You'll have many people try to steer you in a dozen different directions.

  5. Edie, as always, thanks for your insightful encouragement for those of us on this crazy thing we call the path to publication.