Writers are creative, artsy creatures who love words and how they flow together to paint pictures, tell stories, and evoke emotion. Writers craft and shape their words into poems, essays, blogs, novels, and short stories. Writers spend hours slaving over a single scene just to get it right. Writers are moved by their Muse, a slave to their creativity...you get the picture.
Authors are writers who take all of that and shape it into something marketable.
I was talking with an author friend this morning (One with significant talent - multiple contest finals and awards) and was suprised to hear she had never queried an agent.
Well, her reasons are her own but most of it stems from fear of taking that next step. It's nerve-wracking to put your brainchild out on the open market and see what the rest of the world thinks.
The great news is, you don't have to. You can craft stories and poems and blogs to your heart's content, enter contests, or share them with friends. You can keep them completely to yourself. That's up to you and finding joy and contentment in simply writing is a reward unto itself.
If you aspire to publish your work and share it with a wider audience, however, you have to bite the bullet and start treating your work like the mixture of art and marketable commodity that it is.
How to Get Started:
1. Find a critique group or partner - someone who understands the craft of writing and can give you the kind of feedback the will drive you to a pint of Ben and Jerry's while you lick your wounds.
2. Go to writer's conferences - come armed with business cards (not the fru-fru kind, either), a one page info sheet giving your contact info and the hooks for any of your completed or almost completed WIPs and prepare to network your little heart out.
3. Draft a query letter - run it through the Query Shark and your critique group and start sending it to agents who represent what you write and whose sales you like.
If you aspire to publication and you still haven't taken steps to treat yourself like a professional, what's stopping you?