Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Like Being Struck by Lightning

posted by Rebecca J. Carlson

A friend of mine told me about her first experience at a writer's conference. With her eyes wide and a laugh in her voice, she said, "I had no idea how hard it is to break in. They made it sound like getting published is like being struck by lightning!"

Yes, very true. It is not something inevitable. Not something you can make happen.

But there are ways to increase your chances:

1. Become a storm chaser.
Go where the lightning strikes. Attend conferences and workshops, especially ones that invite the sort of editors and agents you'd like to work with.

2. Climb to the top of the hill.
Perfect your craft. Work your hardest. Learn to present yourself well.  Invest in your education as a writer. Be the best you can be.

3. Bring your lightning rod.
An electrifying manuscript will definitely improve your chances.

4. Wait.
This may take a bit. Bring a lawn chair. While you wait, you can start working on your next book. And your next book. And your next book...

Good Luck!


  1. I love this analogy!! Although I hope that publishing is a more pleasant experience than 100 million volts running through your body. Then again, that might be accurate, considering how much anxiety just going with a small publisher produced. :)

  2. I think after the long wait, it would feel like 100 million volts running through your body when they say yes, they want to publish it! Great blog, Rebecca, and so fitting, especially since I just barely finished reading a book titled "Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning" by Danette Haworth - well worth the read! I'm pulling out my lawn chair now - and wishing for spring, too.

  3. Wow, Rebecca! I love your theme-scened post of a lightning storm. That's very great advice! <3

    I hope to meet you sometime. *sigh*

    ~Elizabeth :)

  4. I LOVE this! What a great comparison! You are one briliant woman. :)

  5. Sue and Jonene, considering how my heart rate still skyrockets every time my phone rings and how I still squeal and dance around the house for full manuscript requests, I'm expecting a serious jolt when acceptance day comes.

    Elizabeth and Leisha, you're on my list of people I want to see when my family comes to Utah for a family reunion this July. And that goes for the rest of you Utah people on the crew. Maybe we should find a central location and have a get-together.

  6. I can't wait! It will be a blast. :)

  7. Awesome post! If it was ever sufficient to just write a good book, that is most definitely no longer the case. Like anything good in life, getting published is a combination of talent, really hard work and a dash of luck.

  8. Great post! Something about your blog slowed my breathing and relaxed my soul. So glad I found your blog! A great place to wait for the lightening strike!

  9. I am so happy to have inspired a blog by you! All your blogs are awesome! I want to be a storm chaser, climb that hill and hold up that lightning rod! All in good time. I'm waiting in the shadows and lining up all my dominoes, so when the time is right, all it will take is one little push! I miss you, my dear friend. I will send you a message on Facebook soon.

  10. Too true, Sierra, but as my son recently said, "I don't like plain strategy games. There's got to be some luck involved or it takes all the fun out of it."

    Pam, welcome welcome welcome! So glad to meet you! Hope to see you sail in often.

    Thanks, Shannon.

    And a BIG THANK-YOU, Patti, for inspiring this post. You're awesome, in a class all your own, and I can't wait to see the sparks fly when the lightning strikes for you!


What be on yer mind?