Friday, January 23, 2015

It is a long road toward success so enjoy the journey

Some people think that writing is easy. I mean it does sound simple. You sit down and write a story. How hard can that be? Surely it cannot take THAT long. But it does. People do not realize how long it takes to write a book or even a short story. You have to learn how to craft a story, how to make a character come alive, how to make a plot, how to create tension, how to edit, the correct use of grammer, and then you have to do the actual writing part. And once you've finished the story YOU have to edit it not someone else. Do NOT pay for a professional editor. As a writer you should be able to edit your own work. You need to learn how to do it. Paying for a professional editor is cheating. It would be like paying for a professional painter. Why do that when you can buy some paint and some brushes and do it yourself?

I've been writing for a long time and have yet to "have my big break" I am not a best selling author, my books are not available in the shops, and no one knows my name. Apparently, according to some, I should give up. I've been writing for longer than five years. Shouldn't I have been successful by now? Since I haven't does that mean something is wrong with me? Am I talentless? Am I wasting my time on books no one will ever read? Are my books boring? Are my characters dead? Is the problem me?

I don't believe in this idea of a "timeline for success" in fact I find it offensive. What people are saying is that I should give up. Firstly define success for me. Should I give up because I do not earn a living wage from writing? because I have not won an award? or because my books are not available in brick and mortar shops? I am only self-published. Is that not successful enough for you? Should I put down my pen because I do not have hundreds of followers on Twitter?

Publication is not a sign of talent and publishers are not Gods who know for certain what books are going to be successful and what books aren't. There are lots of writers who spend their entire lives working on one book that will become their lasting legacy. Others will publish half a dozen that will fail to take off and then they will publish one more and THAT one will be successful. And then there are those who are successful right out of the gate. Others might publish a book and it could languish on the shelves for decades before finally being embraced by readers.

What I am saying is just because I have not been successful yet does not mean that it is never going to happen for me. My next short story or novel could be the one that really strikes a cord with readers. Or it could be something I will write ten, twenty, or thirty years from now. I just don't know. I am not going to stop writing because it has not happened for me yet. I have faith in myself and my talent will only continue to grow and improve the more I write. I refuse to think that I am talentless because I've been in this game for over five years and have not struck it big. I am constantly learning, evolving, and improving. I am in this game for the love of writing not for the money. You would have to be nuts to think that writing is a good way to earn lots and lots of cash. I could earn more standing in the streets playing my husband's guitar.

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