Monday, August 13, 2018

The Bottom End of a Publishing Career

by Peter Leavell @peterleavell

I labored to create a writing career.

As I climbed the ladder of writing success, the view above was surprisingly uninspiring—someone’s backside.

I let go of the rungs and found another ladder. After climbing a few steps, I found another posterior—different, but still another fleshy part a person uses to sit.


I tried an author's ladder whom I admire, and while I climbed rather high, the view before reaching my dream was still the same—the tail end of another writer.

While I was getting good at climbing ladders and following others, I was getting tired of rumps.

I took a step back and viewed the writing world from a distance.

The ladder of success wasn’t a ladder at all. It was a jungle gym with a different way to the top for every person.

For everyone who has left an impression on the publishing industry or will contribute, there is a path designed specifically for them. And you have one, too. One you must discover and climb. 

Every person’s publishing story is different.

There is difference between learning from another person’s path and following another person’s path.

Know thyself. Know what success is for you. Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses. Know the market. Know where you might fit in by using your strengths.

The map for your writing career is yours alone. Share your knowledge, but if you see someone staring at your hinder, encourage them to find their own way. They will have their own work to do, their own conversations with agents and acquisition editors, their own way of seeing the world.

You are unique with a voice that’s only yours. Your book will be inimitable, as will your story to publication. Don’t look for and climb ladders. Find the bars that best fit you, climb onto the first rung, and hold on for dear life!

What is your publishing journey? Where are you at on your ladder?

Tweetable! The map for your writing career is yours alone.
Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and currently enrolled in the University's English Lit Graduate program, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. A novelist, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at