How to Be a Published Writer

The secret to being a published writer isn’t just writing – it’s writing and submitted. Recently, I received an email from someone asking for advice on how to be a published writer, and the first thing I suggested was that they should write every day. Every Day.

The second step on the path to publication is to submit your writing. If you want to be a published writer, you need to send your work out to agents, editors, magazines, publishers, journals, and even reputable websites.

I should specify that as a writer, I’m not writing for free, I’m looking for paid published opportunities. Many other writers are happy to write for free, but writing is not only my passion it’s also my source of income.

Writing is hard work, and I know if I’ve written every day. But if you have a busy life (who doesn’t?) you can lose track of how much you’ve submitted in a week or month and how successful you are. You need to keep track either on paper or on a spreadsheet or lipstick marks on your mirror.

Track Your Submissions

I keep track of my submissions and over the past several years because it gives me a boost when I feel worried. I also like tracking because it helps me make sure I’m keeping my effort levels high. Here are my 2017 results.

And here are my stats this far into 2018


be a published writer


How would your submission rates compare? You can see my submission rates from previous years in these posts:

Submission Rates for 2016

Submissions, Rejections, and Acceptances

How to Improve

I know that I have about a 10% acceptance rate as a result of tracking my submissions. I’d love to improve that rate. Here’s what I’m doing:

  • Taking courses to improve my writing
  • Better understand what a publisher or agent or magazine likes
  • Find new outlets I haven’t considered
  • Produce a variety of high quality projects
  • Submit frequently