Do you ever have a day when you feel like your writing life has spiraled into this raging river that you have no control over? You try your best to tame Old Man River but it mocks you by going in a completely opposite direction from where you were headed. All those twists and turns make your doubt your ability to make it to your destination.
No worries, I have a three step plan to tame Old Man River...you just need to know which route to take on your path to publication.
You could try going it alone. Isolate yourself from helpful resources, type the same old dribble you tried typing the year before, and hope you stumble upon something that might lead you in the right direction. Old Man River is sure to teach you a lesson or two about not being prepared, but hey, the fact that you at least tried should count for something, right?
Maybe you want to follow the course of successful writers from the distant past. The icons of the day who wrote compelling stories about strong characters and intricate plots. The only problem with choosing this path is it doesn't address the demands and expectations of today's readers. Yes, study the great artists of the written word but don't be bogged down in the writing styles of yesteryear. Have the ability to be flexible and creative in order to stay up with current trends.
The way to tame Old Man River is to gather close as many resources as are available in the technological age. Readers are quickly lost to the latest, greatest shiny object and today's writers must stay one step ahead of the game. Sharpen your skills at workshops and writer's conferences...strengthen your writer's voice by committing to writing daily...and widen your potential readership base by actively pursuing social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, Blogs, and many more where writers can interact with others and develop a niche for their projects. Speak with as many of today's authors in your genre as you can and find out what THEY did to become a published author. Set goals for yourself and don't give in to the temptation to let Old Man River lead you in the wrong direction.
For myself, I think I will take the scenic route on my own journey to publication...just as soon as I learn how to work the boat...