Building a Base
I can't believe how many thousands of writers there are in the world and how few are actually getting published. Why is that? Are they REALLY that good and everyone else that poor at the art? Do they know something we don't know? Or maybe they know someONE we don't know.
My thinking is...Yes AND No to those questions.
Some authors are much better than I am. That's a fact and I certainly would be foolish to deny the fact. There are literary authors in this world that have a way of expressing themselves in such a way I couldn't begin to emulate. On the other hand, there are many, many authors that I see on the shelves in bookstores that I look and wonder, "How the heck did they do that?" Even I think the work is poor compared to what I write. Yet there he or she is, on the shelf, big as life.
Do they know something we don't know? Or someone we don't know? Of course. There are celebrities and athletes who can sell a million books just because their name is on the cover. That's just a fact of the human condition. A lot of people are followers and will buy a book just because they like the person. It doesn't even matter what drivel they are spouting. It's just the way it is.
What I'm wondering is, what can WE do to give ourselves a better leg in the world of publishing? How can we make ourselves a better commodity and our work something a publisher would want to contract?
The answers are easy. On the other hand the work is hard.
1) Write a better story. I don't mean tell a better tale. I mean write the story better. Be more concise. Don't use repetitive phrases. Bring the characters to life even better than they are. Make the scene more vibrant than it already is. That's the first step. Be a better author and don't EVER think that a story you write is complete until someone says they are willing to publish it for you. It can always be better.
2) Make yourself someone people want to believe in and be around. We all have opinions. (You already know what that's compared to.) On the other hand, does anyone know you? Does anyone care? If they don't, shame on you. How can you get people to believe in you if you don't? Introduce yourself. Meet or introduce yourself to at least ten new people everyday. You can do that in person or Facebook or Twitter or however you want. Just make sure you are being seen. I guess there have been a few famous recluses in the world. Just don't think they became famous because they were. They were famous long before then. Stand tall and be that 1 person people can look to today and remember.
3) Pay the price. I don't know you so I can't tell you what the cost will be for you to succeed. However, I can tell you that there WILL be a price to pay. Just understand this. You don't pay the price of success. You pay the price of failure. (Zig Ziggler) You enjoy the price of success.
No matter what path you decide, there will always be a cost. Today we are given 24 hours. If we're lucky, tomorrow we'll be given another. That's it. No more. No less. The question comes down to what are you going to do with yours. How will you spend that asset you've been given? Video games? Fantasy Football? TV? I could go on, but why should I? You know what you're doing with your day better than I do. It doesn't matter to me and that's the cold hard fact. Your failure gives me a better chance at success. I would much rather have you reading one of my books than me reading one of yours. The question is, are you doing what you can to get where you want to go? Do something that will make you proud of the person you are and the things you did TODAY.
I'm wishing you all the successes you dream.