I’m finally finishing Stephen King’s On Writing, my permanent, it seems, holiday read. One thing struck me as true.
When he was about 13 and he started to write horror and sci-fi fiction, Stephen King didn’t just leave it in his desk drawer. He sent it to the editor of his favourite kids’ magazine. When he got rejected, he tried another magazine. He got rejected again and again. He self-published his first short-story and sold it to his schoolmates, four pages of single-spaced type-writing.
He literally forced himself to send Carrie to Doubleday, a novel that would turn him into a bestselling author worldwide. He didn’t just write for personal enjoyment. He wrote to get published and this goal had a firm grip on his mind from the age of 13.
As a new writer, never underestimate the importance of getting your work seen. Send it to magazines, competitions, hundreds of agents, your favourite authors’ publishers, anyone with even remote industry connections. If there is genuine potential in your work, you will be discovered, I can practically guarantee it. The saying ‘To succeed, start by doubling your failure rate’ never seemed closer to the truth.