Establishing a writing career is much like emerging from a cave, I think. I’ve been writing for 12 years, and I’ve had short stories published in a few magazines (for which I’m very thankful), and one of the many things I’ve learned is this: building your career is like a very long climb out of a dark cave.
When you first embark on the wonderful journey of world building and writing, it might seem dark. You might be confused and acting on instinct (which isn’t a bad thing), trying to feel your way along the walls you cannot see: essentially, trying to get a feel for who you are as a writer, who your characters and what your worlds are.
As you write more and more, as you read more in the genre that you write, you’ll see that darkness slowly, gradually begin to fade. The climb will become less strenuous, your path a bit clearer. The more you work to hone your craft, the better you’ll become.
For many aspiring authors, landing a deal with a big-name publisher is the goal, the dream (I know it is for me). It’s the light at the end of the tunnel in many ways. While it’s certainly not guaranteed, that knowledge should only fuel your passion, not deter you. There are times when the darkness and solitude of writing feels smothering, but holding onto that drive, that need to create, will help push you through.
Every writer stumbles through the darkness, but as we hone our craft, we see the veil begin to lift. Keep at your craft; publish short stories; keep your eye on the prize. Remember, writing is a cave of possibilities.