I was asked the question, "how do you get your manuscript published?" As I was thinking, and a step-by-step, bulleted list began to appear in my head, it dawned on me that this question was laced with an underlying, much deeper ponderment. I wasn't being asked how to get published as much as I was being asked "how to beat the odds?"
In any artistic endeavor, the odds are against us. There are great actors who never make it in front of the camera. Great musicians who never get a record deal. Wonderful painters whose work never sees the inside of a gallery. And insightful writers who are never offered a publishing contract. So, how do we beat those stifling odds?
I could give you a bulleted list of everything I did leading up to my book deal, but that wouldn't really answer the question. It's deeper than attending workshops, entering contests, brainstorming with other writers, re-writing and re-writing, creating a good synopsis, and sending out query after query. Those are all great tools, but those tools aren't what beat the odds.
As I look back the answer becomes suddenly clear. Never quit. Never stop writing. Never give in to the insecurity that your work isn't good enough. Never let frustration take control and force you to stop. Despite rejection after rejection...Never give up.
When people say, "odds are you'll never make it." Let that motivate you to beat those odds with every strike of your keyboard...and Keep Writing!