The Swamps of Creation with Dawn Frederick Part 1

Keeping Persistence


As we wade into the swamps of creation, it’s necessary to have one’s floaties on. This is to ensure that the path to publication consists of persistence and an ability to learn from the occasional misstep.

One of the worst things any writer can do is throw in the figurative towel before the finding an agent and/or reaching publication.

Some ways to prevent such a hasty decision include:


  1. Looking at the bigger picture.

 Is there a reason your book isn’t finding an agent? Is there a specific pattern of responses regarding the general concept of your book? Oftentimes, queries will not reach the correct person(s) due to attention not being paid to the category the agent(s) represent; this is one of the larger challenges of the query process.

Additionally, there is a good chance the story isn’t ready yet. The worst thing any writer can do is rush into the query process when the idea isn’t fleshed out entirely. Ensure that the book (should it be fiction) is in the best shape it can be in. If it’s nonfiction, take the necessary time to ensure that the platform matches the idea. For commercial nonfiction, a lack of platform can result in rejections, taking the time to build an audience is to any author’s advantage.


  1. Talk to a person you can trust.

At Red Sofa Literary, we often discuss ideas internally, from the initial query received to the book proposal (before sharing with publishers). If finding oneself unhappy with the query process, take the time to talk to another writer who has been published. More than likely that person experienced the same highs and lows. Having a person you can trust, that can share his/her publishing experience, and even possibly provide sage advice is worth the time.


  1. Put the book aside for a short time, and then come back with fresh eyes.

This isn’t a pass to give up on getting published. This is a suggestion to look at the book with rested mind and eyes, and to take a break from the grind of writing the book and the query process. You’d be surprised at how this break will provide the clarity needed in editing the book and tackling the query process successfully.


So put those floaties on, and you’ll be able to wade through the figurative swamps of creation.