1. Life and writing are both fluid.
They both occur within the realm of ever-changing circumstances. Therefore, on the writing road, one must persevere through a gauntlet of challenges that threaten to derail even the best-outlined plans and deadlines. Time I put aside for writing is often preempted by family obligations, needs, accidents, or illness. Sometimes, I find concentrating on the write a bit like carrying on a conversation while jumping up and down in a super-sized inflatable overflowing with kids. Quick keyboard fingers, an ironclad memory, and a general chapter outline are valued tools of the trade to weather the storm.
2. Writing is an important, but small component of the process.
Publishing a book is ridiculously challenging (idea generation, outlining, writing, editing, formatting, printing, etc.). Putting together a kick-butt product is crucial to preserve your chance of becoming a success, but it’s just a start. Distribution is everything. Keep in mind: the best products often aren’t the most popular products in the world and this is purely because of differences in products’ distribution channels. Be cognizant of how much time (and possibly money) you’ll need to invest to get your book in front of eyeballs and prepare yourself accordingly.
3. You have to be interesting.
Writers: beware the glassy-eyed stare! This is the look I describe others have when they meet a “writer.”
Have you noticed how being a pilot or a doctor was so cool a few generations ago but is less glamorous now? I think the writing profession is somewhat similar. I believe it’s partly because it’s so much easier for people to write and publish books these days, thanks to sites like Amazon.
Despite the changing landscape, you still have to do your best to make people excited about you and your project. Here’s my tip: instead of saying, “I’m a writer” say, “I’m an author.” People get more excited about the latter phrase and will likely ask you about your book(s). When they do, then have a pithy yet exciting way to pitch your current project. What’s currently working for me is, “I’m writing an adventure fantasy series. It’s like Harry Potter meets Indiana Jones in space!” This normally piques their interest quite well. If you’re seeing a lot of glassy-eyed stares, forge on, keep testing new ways to pitch yourself and your product until you find something that clicks.
4. It’s complicated.
I’ve found writing to be a much more complicated than just putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. Acting skills come in handy when seeing the world from a character’s point of view (POV). More than that, it requires one to connect with a part of the consciousness that often gets pushed aside during the course of a normal day. During the write, one must dig deep into their emotions and experiences. In turn, the characters come alive and lead the writer to new and inspiring places, insights, and revelations.
5. Stories are powerful.
I wish I had known the power that exists in a story that wants to be told. It’s magical. Once begun, the story takes on a spirit of its own. It goes everywhere with you until it is complete. Like a puzzle waiting to be finished, it yearns to be written. This truth makes the difficulties that accompany the writing, publishing and promotion stages tolerable and well worth it.
PS I’ve put together a few inspirational writing quotes Matt and I tap into when we need a creative boost. If you’d like to access those, Click here. They could also be fun pics to share on you social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.