I was wandering around the Internet this week reading and catching up on blog posts written by my colleagues and the one thing that really struck me, in all the advice we’re giving and the guidance we’re providing, is that the key to all of this is you really have to trust yourself. Simply because you’re here reading this blog I assume that you’re one step ahead of many writers out there. In other words, you’re taking the time to learn what industry professionals think and understand the business. Presumably you’re reading this blog as well as others and participating in things like writer’s forums or critique groups. In other words, whether you realize it or not, you have become a student of publishing and, to some degree, have taken a role in the publishing business.
You know what each of us thinks about certain practices and procedures and you’ve learned firsthand how subjective everything can be, from whether or not we like a book to how we like our query letters. Therefore, when push comes to shove there’s only one person you should be listening to, and that’s you. When it comes time to write your query, choose an agent, find a publisher, sign a contract, and write the next great American novel, you need to trust that you can take all you’ve learned and are continuing to learn and do what’s best for you and your career, and do it with your own personal flare and style.