Baby steps. Those two words bring many visuals to my mind. There's something exciting about seeing a child take their first steps. Even though they make little progress in terms of distance, their bravery and determination inspires me.
While I'm a big picture person, I know the journey consists of many small decisions. Some of the small decisions yield big rewards when put together.
Here are some key baby steps I took:
1. Praying for wisdom and direction were critical to getting from Point A to Point B and beyond. God put writer friends and mentors in my path. They shared the nuggets they'd learned and steered me away from pitfalls.
2. Attending writers conferences - This is the best way to meet industry professionals, learn the publishing business and the craft, and meet other writers. While it's possible to catch the eye of an agent or editor by submitting, there's nothing like a face-to-face introduction.
3. Setting up a blog and joining social media platforms - Somewhere along the line, I read platform building should begin 5 years before a book is published. While the benefits were many, meeting people and upgrading my skills made the effort worthwhile.
4. Having critique partners - Another set of eyes on your manuscript is like putting on your glasses before you look in the mirror. They highlight problems you'd never see otherwise.
5. Making a quality decision to keep writing, submitting, and pursuing what God has put on my heart - Yeah, there were hard times when I wanted to quit. While we look forward to the prize before us, we also recall how far God has brought us from those early days.
The journey goes on - there's always the next manuscript, the next book release, and the effort to improve our skill set.
Writers: What are some baby steps you're taking to move your writing forward?
Readers: When you read an author's books, do you notice improvements in their writing? Please share.
Photo Credit: Amanda Mafioletti