I feel really dumb writing this post, which is probably why I’ve put off writing it so far.
I’ve had some things published. This is true. It also does not make me an expert, in the same way that someone who has been on a jr. high swim team could be an Olympic commentator, or a student who read the Cliff Notes version of Plato’s Republic should apply to teach a history of philosophy at a local college. It would take the résumé padding of a compulsive liar to convince you that I can say anything definitive on this subject.
What I can do is share from my own experience, because I’ve noticed that a lot of people new to the writing world want to know how it works. I can’t tell you that. But I can tell you the small corner of it that I’ve come into contact with. Please note that I’m still learning and stumbling through this too, and at times, I don’t do the things I know I should or follow my own advice.
People who get published aren’t some rare, brilliant, disciplined group of people. They’re people who came to this often-mysterious thing called freelance writing, worked hard, poked around at different things trying to figure out what on earth was going on, and eventually figured out what worked by trial and error.
Trial and error isn’t always fun. So this blog post is supposed to be the anti-trial and error. That is, if you haven’t fled several paragraphs because of my lengthy disclaimer. (I swear that my self-esteem is just fine. Really.)