No matter how difficult your circumstances become, life goes on. The fact that the housing market has reached all-time lows doesn't mean that people no longer need a place to live. And while it is getting more difficult to find jobs and earn a living, we all still have to find ways to meet our basic needs. And for those of us who seek to reach some level of success in the publishing industry, it is too easy to focus on all of the current challenges. People do still read, (believe it or not) and they are looking for new voices, great stories, and helpful information. The world still needs writers. In order to meet the needs of the readers, we must find ways to adapt--that is what the most successful people do.
Realtors, brokers, and home builders all agree that it is tougher to sell homes due to the economy, unemployment rates, and the subsequent flood of lower-priced inventory available. One thing they know is that when everything is all said and done, people still need a roof over their heads. So to survive, they adapt. They find new ways to market properties and make them stand out from the rest (polish your manuscript). They become more knowledgeable about financing to help qualify their clients (study the industry and step up your game). They use modern technology and social networking (build your platform). Many cater to a niche market (identify and connect with potential readers). They are creative, aggressive, innovative, and they stay in the game (emulate all of these things). Success in publishing is no different.
I believe that now is an exciting time to be a writer. There are so many avenues to publish your work from blogging, to freelance writing, to self-publishing, and, of course, traditional publishing. Writers can have the best of both worlds. Rejected manuscripts no longer have to sit in a desk drawer or be archived on a computer hard drive. Writers can generate interest in their work, publish it, and promote it with the possibility of still landing that elusive book deal. If you have a great product, a vision for it, a clear plan, and you are willing to roll up your sleeves, it is possible to be successful in the face of adversity. But, you have to believe it and you have to keep your shoulder to the plow.
Check out literary agent Rachelle Gardner's post, "Is the Sky Falling?", where she advises us all to "pull on our grown-up pants and deal with it". There will always be challenges. Life is full of them.
Are you going to quit now?