Once upon a time there were three little writers, Personable, Prolific, and Persistent. Each decided to venture into the publishing world.
"I'm going to get published by knowing people in all areas of the industry," said Personable.
"I'm going to get published by writing every day," said Prolific.
"I'm going to get published by submitting my manuscripts to everyone," said Persistent.
So each went out to build on their dreams.
Personable went to conferences, ate lunch with New York editors, and sent Christmas cards to every publisher. They all remembered Personable and could call her by name. "I have contacts," said Personable showing off a room full of business cards. "Surely I will be published." But Personable neglected to write and never submitted anything.
Prolific wrote everyday, read books about plot, characterization, and scene, and attended every how-to-write workshop she could. Fellow writers praised Prolific's stories. "I've learned my craft and write every day," said Prolific showing off a room full of marvelous manuscripts. "I know a great editor will knock on my door and insist my work be published." But Prolific never studied the markets, never learned who was who, and never submitted a manuscript.
Persistent whipped out a story in just half a day and sent it to every publisher in the market guide. "I only need one great idea and this is it," Persistent bragged showing off a room full of rejection slips. "I'm thick-skinned and stubborn. I'll never give up until it is published." But the story lacked plot, the characters were weak, and Persistent blindly submitted to whoever was who.
One day a Big Bad Editor came to town. He huffed and he puffed and he stormed all around. "I'm buried in stories I've no time to read. They're low quality, inappropriate, and from people I've never seen. I'm closing my doors until 2017."
The three writers almost abandoned their dream, but they put their heads together and concocted a scheme.
"The Big Bad Editor told me he loves mysteries," said Personable.
"I've got a perfect mystery tucked under my bed," said Prolific.
"I'll march it straight to his door and insist he see it," said Persistent.
So the three little writers went to the Big Bad Editor's office and knocked on his door.
"Go away!" a voice boomed from the other side.
"But I'm Personable. Remember me? We met once before."
A key turned in the lock. An eye peered through a tiny crack in the door.
"I've written a wonderful mystery," said Prolific holding up a neatly packaged manuscript.
The door opened a bit more.
"Please read our manuscript," said Persistent, sticking one foot in the gap. "We'll listen, we'll revise, and we'll work, but we won't give up."
The door opened wide. Mr. Editor grinned. "You're being professional, so I'll welcome you in."
Their work was soon published. They authored some more, because they'd learned to work together to open the door. So be Personable, Prolific, and Persistent, my friend. Someday Mr. Editor will welcome you in.