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Six Keys to Publishing Success
by Tequitia R. Andrews

Before becoming a freelance writer, I tried to find success in other home businesses such as selling beauty products and party plans. Although I wasn’t very successful in those ventures, I learned a lot that helped me in establishing my writing career. Here are six of the most valuable tips I received:

1. Set Goals

When I joined a party plan business, one of the first things I was asked to do was set some goals. How much time was I planning to invest? How much money did I want to make? This same principle can apply to your writing career. Decide if you’re going to become a full-time or part-time writer. Determine how much money you’ll need to make through your writing in order to pay bills. Having a goal or set of goals in place gives your writing career focus and a ruler to measure progress.

2. Ask For Help

In every home-based opportunity I encountered, there were always people willing to answer my questions about the business at any time. Joining a local writer’s group or attending a writer’s conference can offer the same support. You can also find several writing communities online that can help you on your path.

3. Believe In Yourself

It’s nice to have the support of others in your career, but the bottom line is that the road to publishing success can be lonely and often filled with rejection. Be your own cheerleader on those days when your mind draws a complete blank or you receive your 200th rejection letter. Believe in yourself and believe in your work.

4. Be Serious About Your Business

Writing is a business. Be professional in all your business interactions. For a writer this means having business cards and letterheads, a separate phone line or voice mail, a separate checking account, and an office or area to complete your work. It also means being disciplined in a writing schedule, meeting deadlines, and applying good work ethics.

5. Remember Success Doesn’t Come Easy

Writing a bestseller or winning a Pulitzer Prize doesn’t happen overnight. For some it may take years before you see any tangible success in your career. You’re going to have to work hard and endure many disappointments to get to where you want to go. Just when you’re ready to throw in the towel, you’ll get that acceptance letter or the call from that editor offering you your dream opportunity. Be patient, your time will come.

6. Don’t Just Talk About It, Do It!

You hear the adage all the time, but it’s true. Being a writer, means writing—everyday. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and write. Even it’s writing a letter or journaling, it’s practice. And as they say, "practice makes perfect." This is the most essential key to becoming a published writer. Without it, the other keys are useless.

These words of wisdom from my former home-based vocations have been extremely helpful in my efforts to become a published writer. Follow these six simple tips and you will be on your way to publication success!

© Copyright 2003, Tequitia R. Andrews

Tequitia Andrews work has been published in All About Kids, Indy's Child, MainStreetMom.com, and CreativeHomemaking.com.

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