Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January Writing Tip: What It Takes to Succeed as an Author

I hope you've gotten off to a good start on your Writing goals/resolutions this January. I'm whittling away at the few remaining chapters of my WIP. If all goes well, I'll have a completed MS to polish and submit to a couple of contests this year. 

And, by finishing, I'll achieve the first of many hurtles that line the path to publication. Did you know that: the oft-heard stat that only 5% of people who try to write a novel ever finish, has some basis in fact? Try Kristen Lamb's post, "What are the REAL Odds of Being a Successful Author" for confirmation.(Thanks to Kristen for inspiring this post!)

But, there's more to it than finishing. Kristen L. goes on to say that only 5% of those who finish will join a critique group and read craft books to learn how to make that MS better? 

And that only 5% of these will apply the things they learn to their MS.

And that only 5% of those who apply the things they learn and attend conferences where they get a request for pages will actually send them.

How many of these writers will land an agent right away? Yep, 5%.

And how many are willing to gut their novel to make it better? 5%.

What about self-publishing, you ask? Only 5% of them do the hard work of building a social media platform to promote their book and seek professional editing and apply it.

Kristen L. goes on to say that only 5% of those authors will keep writing more books until they click with readers and will seek professional editing to make them better.

After I read all of the stats, I had to take Kristen's advice to control what I can control when it comes to my stories to heart. I vow to:
  • Take the decision to write seriously (Check)
  • To write the book (Check)
  • To edit the book (Check)
  • To finish the book (Check)
  • To learn the craft (Check)
  • To accept critiques and learn from them without getting my feelings hurt (Check)
  • Network (working on it)
  • Follow through
  • Not give up after rejection
  • Write more and more books
  • Do everything I can to lay a foundation for success
And I vow to listen to good advice like Kristen's and remember that this isn't easy. None of this is easy. And I vow to stay the course, do the work, and write my books. Wish me luck!

 Next Week: The first Mini Book Review for 2015 will hit the Shade. Enjoy!