So, You Want to be a Writer...

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    I’ve said that there is at least one best-selling novel in every human being who’s ever lived. It could be fiction, could be a personal challenge overcome in an extraordinary way, or a hilarious travel log of that one crazy night years ago. No matter what, there’s a story in everyone.

    Far and away, the thing that most people want to talk to me about is how to publish their book. I get that question on a weekly basis. I have no problem sharing my wins and losses in the industry. I’ll tell you everything I know, and I’ll answer any questions I have. Since it’s been such a popular topic of conversation, I thought I would throw a few tidbits out there so anyone can glean what they can. The thing you’re likely to notice first is, I am not going to talk about publishing in this blog and for very good reason.

    First, don’t quit your day job. The odds of being able to support yourself via writing are very slim. Because Amazon has made publishing so simple (and gratefully so) the market is saturated by the afore mentioned everyone has a story. Based on my sales, Amazon considers me a “successful” self-published author and I sell 1-2 copies per day. That’s the harsh reality of the industry. Unless you’re able to look ahead and realize that someone else is going to financially support you for the rest of your life, write because you love it, not because you think you’re going to be getting movie deals in a month.

    Second, be sure writing is for you. It’s nothing like you see in movies or anywhere else. You don’t send in a manuscript and, a few weeks later your hardback copies arrive in beautifully designed jackets. It’s a ton of work. It’s late nights, early mornings, frustration, aggravation, writing when you don’t feel like it, losing all interest but having to push to finish, hating what you’ve written, discouragement, the list goes on. That’s just getting your manuscript on paper. Editing, formatting, cover design, and marketing are even worse.

    Third, don’t hide your ideas. Discuss your ideas with friends and family and gauge their interest. Share it with like-minded people and see what they think. That will help with so many aspects of your work and it will ultimately save you during times when writing isn’t exactly your favorite thing and-trust me-that’s coming. There is no better cure for writer’s block than having a creative session with someone else.

    Lastly (at least for this blog), don’t bother asking me or anyone else about what it takes to publish until you have something completed. There’s no point in talking to me about how to navigate the industry if all you have is an idea, some notes, or a few drawings of characters. 1 book in a 3-part series isn’t enough and neither is 20 pages of a 300-page novel. Finish something. Maybe 10% of the population will ever start writing a book. Of that, less than 1% will finish it. Let that sink in.

    On that cheery note, push on! If you want to write books, then do so! Everyone has a story to tell. Tell yours. When you have it down on paper, let me know! I’ll give you everything I know, then pick up a copy once it’s published!

     


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