How to Become A Selling Writer

Selling writers know that you can become a selling writer only by keeping at it. Keep writing. Keep sending queries. Keep submitting your work.

Call it what you will — persistence, stick-to-it-tiveness, doggedness, determination, just plain old stubbornness — it’s the usual way to make that first sale and to follow up with more and more sales. It”s how most of us get started in the writing business.

If you have that stubborn streak and if you keep writing, you eventually reach the place where you can claim to be a selling writer.

That point was brought home by Robert Dugoni, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Jury Master,” “Damage Control,” and “Wrongful Death,” in an Off The Cuff piece he wrote in the February 2010 issue of The Writer. Dugoni says he bridged the thin line between trying and succeeding by learning the three P’s — Patience, Perseverance and Persistence.

And he compares his writing efforts to that of his nine-year-old son learning to hit a baseball. In “Don’t be afraid of striking out,” he says that in writing as in baseball, you have to stick with it to hit one out of the park.

“As writers, we can’t become paralyzed at the thought of rejection. We can’t fear it, or seek to avoid it. Rather, we must confront it head on, charge into it with reckless abandon. We must look at rejection like a ball player looks at striking out, that thin line between trying and succeeding, a line we must cross as many times as necessary, knowing that on the other side exist our dreams and goals.”

Dugoni is a fiction writer, to be sure, but his advice can help nonfiction writers as well to become published writers. The entire article could be the motivation you need to succeed. I picked up my copy of The Writer at my local Barnes & Noble, but you probably can find the magazine at another bookstore or read it at your local library if you prefer. I think it’s one article you won’t want to miss.

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