E115: How to Get Published with Cynthia Merrill


Writing is not just a creative process, but an emotional process as well.  The more you have the tools to work through the emotional aspects of the writing process, the more successful you’re going to be in getting those stories out into the world because the audience can feel you. The question is, how do you get your manuscript published?

Joining us today is Cynthia Merrill, editor and writing coach by profession – but a writer at heart.  Since 2018, Cynthia has helped writers polish their manuscripts and find a publishing path that fits their goals. If you have ever dreamed of publishing a book, then this episode is for you!

Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:

  • The need for more compassionate literature about writing
  • Writing tips and different publishing options
  • Figuring out what publishing option is right for you
  • Finding the right agent for your book
  • Ghostwriters need to get some credit too
  • The emotional process of writing
  • Revising as you go vs. writing a messy draft

Episode Highlights:

[07:18] Tapping Into Your Creative Space

If a certain writing technique works for you, then it works for you. If not, either you don’t understand the tool well enough yet so you have to learn a little bit more, or you can just abandon that. But you can’t force yourself to be sitting the whole day writing. Instead, find a way to make it more organic, something that genuinely lights you up and helps you access that creativity without trying to shove yourself into that rigid space.

[11:58] Publishing Options

  • Traditional – Most traditional publishers will only take agented manuscripts, which means you need to submit them through an agent. Once the agent decides to represent you, they help pitch your work to the publishers but they don’t get paid until they sell your book.
  • Self-publishing – You have more creative control but you have to market, find a designer, hire an editor, and create that space yourself.
  • Hybrid – There are smaller presses where you don’t need an agent to submit to them. They might have more limited resources, but they still have great strengths and in-house editors.

If you have a book you want to get out in the world, slow down and look at your options seriously. Be honest about what you want. If you do not want to play the waiting game and if it’s going to drive you insane to wait to hear back from agents or wait to sell it, then it’s okay to go a different route.

[26:38] The Emotional Process of Writing

Writing is such an emotional process that when you have writer’s block, it usually isn’t because you’re out of ideas or you aren’t capable, but usually, there’s some emotional root to it. Tackling a creative project is therefore a great way to learn about yourself. Figure out what your critic sounds like and when it comes out the most.

Resources Mentioned:



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