Snailing Your Way To Success
It's Wednesday, time for another Writer's Tip. Last week I told you about the perils of sharing too much information with readers and how it could lead to identity theft. If you missed that post, you can jump back and read it here.
This week, I thought I'd lighten up a little with your tip of the week. We're talking about careers. Specifically, YOUR career in writing. This post was prompted by an online class I'm taking with the beautiful and wickedly talented R.L. Syme. She asked us to think about our goals, specifically our one year, five year, and ten year goals.
My answers tended toward reader engagement, telling kickass stories that take people out of their ordinary lives to the extraordinary, that kind of thing. Sure, I have monetary goals, but mostly my idea of success is touching reader's hearts. It's sappy, I know, but there you have it.
Some authors might have loftier goals, of say, making a million dollars in five years. Others might have a number of books published goals, or signing with their dream agent, or dream New York Publisher. Those are all valid and worthy goals. I still sometimes dream of signing with an amazing agent and getting a plum NY deal.
There is a lot of pressure right now to write as many books as we can, one every two months is most desirable, but that's not me. Bella Andre and Marie Force do it fabulously and I envy them their speed.
The point of today's post is this: Do what works for YOU. Not what works for Marie Force or Bella Andre, or even George R. R. Matin, who NO ONE will accuse of rushing his writing, but for you.
I can write fast. I have written fast, but I'm not happy with the work when I write fast. I like to take my time and thoroughly edit my novels before they are published. I want a kickass cover from my brilliant cover designer and I'm not willing to sacrifice quality for speedy publication. I'm not saying any of those other authors do this, I know they work hard to put out quality work and their sales reflect their success at it! I'm saying for ME, I know how long it takes me to write a book, how long it will take to edit it, and how long I'll need for publication. That's not two months. In fact, just thinking about publishing a book every two months gives me hives.
So here it is, permission for you to write at the pace you're comfortable with. Write what you love to write, not what the INDUSTRY! says you need to write. Take your time or write fast, it's up to you, no one else. If you have a deadline and your publisher demands you write faster, so be it, that's a career choice you made when you signed the contract, but for those books you can control the pace of your writing/editing/cover designing, do what feels natural for you.
Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to look at your goals and remember this is a career choice. You're here for the long run, right? I hope when I'm 80 plus I'll still be rocking out the books and loving what I do. That gives me more than thirty years to do what I love. Thirty! That's a long, long time to get books written, don't you think?
And you probably have more time than that. So do it right. Don't rush just because ‘they' tell you to. Rush because you're a fast writer and love that pace. Or don't because you're like me and write slower. You can snail your way to success. It will happen. Probably not tomorrow. Maybe not even in a year, but it will come. Be patient. Enjoy the process while you're doing it and remember why you wanted to write in the first place.
For me, it's because I love to entertain. Telling stories gives me an outlet to touch readers. To make connections on a deeper level, and if I'm really lucky, to take them on a journey and away from their lives if even for an hour or so. When that happens, I'm truly blessed.
What does success look like to you? Is it millions of dollars in sales? Or a letter from a reader? What are your short and long-term goals? You don't have to share them with us, but I want you to start thinking about them. Write them down. Own them. Honor them.
Will you snail your way to success, or are you a prolific writer who can pump out six books a year? If so, I envy you! It's just not in me to be that fast, but I kind of wish it was. 🙂