If your writing is good and you have a strategy there is no reason why you shouldn’t be published. You need to be driven enough to stay with your strategy and intelligent enough to realise when it isn’t working and to think of another. Usually it’s actually a matter of adjusting rather than creating new.
I do not have a UK agent and I would really like one, though I do actually manage very well without one. I usually focus on the latest work and will send it to three agents. I am currently in the process of doing that and actually have interest from two.
Although I have picked out the most suitable to approach first I will replace them as they reject with other likely ones. I will also reedit the work between rejections.
As soon as three agents have rejected, I also look at small press.
Once the next work is finished I abandon proactive submissions for this one and go on to reactive ones. This is where I look at opportunities as they arise – calls for submission, competitions, new small presses etc. I have to admit this is the area I’ve most been published in. Nevertheless, I’ve built up a good CV this way.
All of this is underpinned by effective networking habits: Twitter, Facebook, blogging, attending events – e.g. SCBWI, Society of Authors, book launches.
Work out your strategy
Answer these questions to work out your strategy:
What is your vision?
What do you need to do in order to do that?
How often can you do this?
How will you notice your strategy is not working?
Writers don’t just write
In fact, if you become a full time writer, you probably won’t spend any more time writing that you do now. You may spend more time on effective submitting and marketing.
A strategy for marketing?
Oh yes, that is another whole story and deserves a whole blog post to itself. Then there is also a strategy for maintaining balance between writing, submitting and marketing.