If you’re just starting out as a writer, having a network of writer friends is a real help. Find people who write the type of work you do. Most of my writing gigs are faith-based or related to senior citizens, so I’ve connected with a lot of writers in these genres to encourage me, to give me advice, and just generally, to keep me going.
Look online for forums with people who write sci-fi or flash fiction… whatever it is that floats your literary boat. Find them not just for moral support, but for their experience – perhaps they’ve been rejected by a particular editor and finally figured out how to break through and get accepted. What did she do to get to that point? What had she tried already? Was her initial query too flippant?
Years ago, I wrote a mass-query to a boat-load of agents, and began like this: “In the words of Mick Jagger, please allow me to introduce myself….” When I think of it even now, I wince. What the heck was I thinking? But even with that amateurish opening, I got a lot of responses. Only a couple expressed any real interest, but I have to say, even some of the rejection letters were helpful. Oh, not the ones that simply say, “Not for us,” but the ones that said things like, “This is well-written and in strong voice, but the market for this type of fiction is not optimal right now.” I remember one agent who had retired actually took the time to write a note by hand on the back of my letter to encourage me to keep writing.
Ask questions. Pick brains. Find a way.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard for writers comes from unlikely sources. Fashion guru, Tim Gunn, said it best: “Make it work.” Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, do what you can to get’r’done. Pray about it, then – you know the drill – vote with your feet for your dreams.