“I am going to finish that novel. I’m going to go on with the series till my characters have reached the end of their journey. I’m going to write all those little stories swimming inside my head. I’m going to revise my poems till they’re perfect. I’m going to pen that screen-play no matter what. I’m going to compose that song. I will trust my gut and follow my heart.”
These are things that creative people need to tell themselves daily.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work on your project every day. This means that you write because you are a writer. You play and compose music, because you’re a musician. You write poetry, because you are a poet. You write screenplays, because you’re a playwright. This goes for other areas of creativity. It’s the love for the art! That’s why we do it, not to become famous and rich. If your goal is to make money, you’re in the wrong profession. I can guarantee you, even if you become published – which would be flippin’ fantastic (!) by the way – that doesn’t mean you’re going to roll around in hundred-dollar bills. Poetry, for example, there’s practically no money in that. Published poets may become noticed for their work and make a name for themselves, but none of them will quit their day job.
My advice to you: Don’t worry about publication. Don’t worry what agents and publishers might think. Don’t even think about it.
Tell the story to yourself first. Get friends to read it and give you feedback. Revise the Hell out of your draft; multiple edits will strengthen your characters, your plot and your language. Polish your writing. When you reach out to agents/publishers, make sure that your manuscript is a good as it’s ever going to be, because once someone’s accepted it, most publishers won’t allow you a lot of time for editing. Plus, prepare yourself for a lot of rejection.
It’s going to be tons of work, yes, certainly, but never forget, you’re creating something for yourself. For you. Not the agents, not the publishers. Regardless of your intentions with your work – whether you want to get it out there – create with love and passion. I know it sounds cheesy, but believe in yourself, man. Trust that you got something worthwhile to say and just do it. Create something.
Don’t think about publication. You will spend enough time handling the business aspect of this world once someone has said yes. Besides, if you know you’ve put your best foot forward, count yourself a winner.