Now I want to talk about the shoebox.
Years ago before the Internet, publishing a book was a lot harder. You had a typewriter with a paper carbon copy underneath for a duplicate copy. And when you made a spelling mistake—it was a calamity. Going back later to change your wording or idea was also a nuisance. But the writers survived and their books got published. An American writer though had it easier since most publishers and agents resided in the States. A writer in those days would take a shoe box to put their manuscripts inside and mail it to the publisher or agent. (I'm bypassing the slush pile for another day). You'd take the box to the post office, wait in line and pray it would arrive safely. As a Canadian it was much more difficult. The publisher and agents would no longer accept coupons from the Canadian post office since Canadians were not allowed to buy American stamps at the post office. And I agree this was a real hassle for the publishing industry in the States. They did not have the time nor manpower to deal with coupons from the Canadian post office. So I would drive to Buffalo to buy US stamps or purchase them in Florida when I was on holiday. Soon it became too expensive to mail the manuscripts or even the first three chapters.
For a time my hopes were dashed to find a publisher or agent.
Alas, the arrival of the Internet brought new hope to all writers!
My generation grew up without the Internet. Some writers, my age and older though took to it right away.
I however did not. It wasn't until I left my job to work on my writing that I knew sending chapters,
letters and manuscripts by the Internet was the way to go. My paper manuscripts, my hopes and dreams no longer had to be shredded and put into a someone else's garbage can because I didn't have the stamps for the publishers or agents to send the rejected manuscript back to me.
Now all they have to do is press delete while I have my own copy to send anew. No more shoe boxes and lining up at the post office.
Young writers have it easier now. They can send their manuscripts a click away to as many publishers and agents as they want to. And every publisher, agent, author, and fellow writers are there on the Internet for advice and guidance. They can help you with tax guidelines and rules only a click away. Some authors will gave you examples of what you need and you only have to ask. And when writers become discouraged they can self publish.
So my advice is to write away because you no longer have to worry about keeping shoeboxes hidden away somewhere inside your closest.