The Key To Being A Successful Novelist — Writer’s Update Wednesday
What’s going on inside your virtual web-friend Jimmy D’s head this day?
Well, being that it’s unofficially “Hump Day” if you’ve followed thing blog at all over the last two months, you’re going to get one of two things from me on Wednesdays…either something really, goofy, funny, exciting…ish….or something more along the lines of technical, writing-centered, nitty-gritty, and mostly…uhh…boring.
Guess which one today is? Yeah, Writer’s Update Wednesday….again. 😛
(Okay, I’m only HALF-serious about the boring part!)
There’s actually an important “tidbit” about writing that I’d like to share with all you WordPressiess out there.
In the first place, most of the book stuff is still coming along, perhaps not WELL, but…it’s moving. For this week, I’ve mostly shifted the focus back from my deep “Hillbilly Apocalypse” novel, unto to more mirthful matters with my Video Store Retro Comedy novel project.
I’ve actually gotten a chapter or two of that done…okay, make that MOSTLY done, but if I follow the current “trajectory” for the week, the chapters will be DONE done. 😉
Now then, enough about ME and to reason WHY you likely clicked on to this post in the FIRST place…
So what IS the key to being a successful novelist??
Well, I was visiting over at THIS nice young lady’s blog I semi-regularly follow, earlier in the week, and her mentioning of her interest in writing a book kinda put the question in my head, as to what it takes, and even after the reply I gave her (whether she asked for it or not! 😛 ) has stayed in there….uhh…yeah, I mean in my head, not uhhh….whatever…. 😛 😀
So…I ask again, what does it take to be a successful novelist??
It comes down really to one word….
Yup, that’s it.
Now, some people would say that talent is more important, and yeah, in an IDEAL world, we would both be correct in making that assumption, but how many people do we all know in our lives who SHOULD be published writers and very successful at it, yet either aren’t, or have never even ATTEMPTED to publish anything, while there are hacks out there like E. L. James who have become famous and well-off by pushing out refried fanfiction DRECK??
(Yes, I mean 50 Shades of Grey…matter…Blech.)
What does she have that maybe your better writer friend (or even you 😉 ) do not??
In a nutshell, you have to keep at it. You have to keep going with your writing, no matter how hectic your life is, no matter how sick you feel, or how scary the finances are getting, you have to make TIME to write…everyday.
Whether it’s a chapter a day, a few pages, a day, even just a few paragraphs, you GOT TO KEEP AT IT and continue to “hit the speed-bag” of your own creativity. You have to keep believing in your own words, your own story, never losing site of what you’re doing and continue pushing forward, come what may, to the finished draft.
But…it doesn’t just stop there.
You need that “big P word” for a lot of others stuff too. You need persistence to get through the UBER tedious process of rewriting and revising…over and over and over again. Then there’s the persistence needed to get over rejection, from friends who HATE to read (even though they like you, and think you can probably write real goood! 😉 ) as well as from literary agents and publishers.
FACT: No matter how good you are, if you put your creative works out there to be published, SOMEBODY is going to reject you somewhere. Accept it.
You need to have the persistence to believe in your words even when it seems no one else does. You also need persistence in your pre-write planning as well as post-write promotions.
Say what you will about James‘ writing skill, the woman was OBVIOUSLY good at learning the new media and promoting herself with blogs and whatnot. You can be the most talented (yet still unknown) novelist in the world, (*AHEM( but if you don’t do ANYTHING to promote yourself in the “new media” and try and learn how it works, then who the heck is going to care??
And yes, I’m guilty of that too…but I’m working on it. 😛
Football may be a game of inches, but the creative writing game is one of eighths of inches…i.e. words and letters. You don’t get puts up on the board for coming up with great book ideas, you get points for great BOOKS…and in the real world, they’re written a WORD at a time.
Don’t worry about how long it’ll take to get there, just worry about getting the GET in there….
Persistence is nothing more than discipline converted into physical energy. Bottom line, you want to be a great novelist? You’ve got to keep at it…even when you’re not “feeling” it. It’s like a muscle, the more you do it, the more you prove it.
If you get in the habit of writing everyday, you’re already 50% of the way there to being successful as a novelist, and you can take the “mental muscles” you’ve learned through that persistence and apply the to other areas of the writing process.
If you take nothing else from this post….Persistence is the key. Keep going even when the road looks long.
Brother, Sister Wordsmith….. Be a Plucky Duck with your pen, DON’T give up!! 🙂
Even when his life “go down the hole” he keeps picking the pen up,