If there's one thing you can be sure of in the writing biz, it's that there will be humps to get over.
Now, I'm not one to knock humps. Humps can be all kinds of fun, depending. Sure, they might make you sweat, but they can be energizing! (<--Obligatory Grimes double entendre.) Of course, it helps if you know ahead of time that they're not insurMOUNTable. (Oops. I did it again...)
But, seriously, folks (no, really -- seriously, I mean it...hey, stop laughing!), you can get beyond the humps. A few suggestions, if I may be so bold...
Hump: FINISHING YOUR DAMN BOOK.
It's amazing how many people never get over this one. They have a great idea. They start it. And then they...peter out. Whether they just stall, or are lured away by a Shiny New Idea (which they work on only until the next SNI winks at them from across the room*), they don't complete the task at hand. Bookus Interuptus. It's a sad thing**.
Solution: Come on, isn't it obvious? Finish your damn book!
Hump: FINDING AN AGENT.
Looking for the perfect agent is easier than ever, thanks to the internet. Resources abound: Twitter, Facebook, sites like agentquery.com -- they can provide a wealth of information to you, the discerning
Solution: Polish that query until it shines! (After making sure your Damn Book is finished -- and equally shiny -- of course.)
Hump: SELLING THE BOOK.
This is where your agent comes in to help with the heavy lifting. But it's still teamwork. You may be asked to revise, and even re-revise. Your book may be rejected outright by editors, or an editor may fall in love with it and still not be able to get it past the editorial board. This may happen several times, until you feel like you're on one of those rumble strips instead of just going over a speed bump.
Solution: Hang on tight, and occupy yourself with writing the next book.
Hump: WRITING THE NEXT BOOK.
And (wait for it...) finishing it.
Solution: Um, yeah. Just do it...blah-blah-blah. Do it whether your first book sells or not.
Hump: SELLING THAT ONE.
You're catching onto my point, right? The humps never end. But the feeling of accomplishment when you get over one starts to get addictive.
Either that, or writers are basically masochistic creatures. I haven't quite decided which yet.
Are you a writer? What's the last hump you got over?
*SNIs can be treacherous sirens, enticing you away from your WIP with the promise of easy writing ahead, when really they just want to laugh as you are buffeted against the rocky shoals of chapter 17, or wherever the heck you are when it occurs to you that finishing This Damn Book isn't going to be any easier than finishing The Last Damn Book. You're just going to have to plug your ears and learn to swim through the seaweed.
**Except when it's not. There are always exceptions, and sometimes giving up on a WIP is the right thing to do. You may reach a point where you realize you won't ever have enough creative hot air (er, so to speak) to inflate that book all the way. Then it may be a good thing to check out one of your SNIs. But if you catch yourself doing this a lot, beware. You could become a Serial Book Starter, and that's not just a hump. It's a mountain.