Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writers, Diamonds Are Just Lumps Of Coal That Stuck It Out, and You Can Too!

Sorry about the long delay between blog posts--I caught some sort of virus that bedeviled me all last week.

In my last post I mentioned some of the writers who inspired me, and someone commented on the fact that I was at least partially motivated by the thought that I could do as well as a best-selling author. I guess that was a bit shocking, but I honestly believe many of us started our first book with that exact thought in mind.

I think our favorite books intimidate us a little--and in my case the classic authors (Twain, Lee, Hemingway) still seem unreachable. But I was never intimidated by Clive Cussler, Jeffrey Archer, or Jack Higgins. Perhaps I should have been (and I'll say it again--I have a MUCH greater appreciation for those authors now that I've actually finished my two books). 

You may be searching for another blog to read right now, after reading that horribly arrogant spiel, but hang on a second. That's what it takes to write a book--especially the first one. Writers need self confidence and (dare I say it?) even a touch of arrogance to see the way through a book-length project. Some writers may not show it, but I've never met a successful author who didn't believe in their talent--at least most of the time.

Don't get me wrong--writers have low moments. My best friend could tell you all about that--especially after a phone session devoted to propping me up when I'm going through the sulky-mopeys. All self confident people have moments of doubt, but those moments don't overwhelm successful writers--at least not for very long.

You don't believe me? You're wrong--because here's the deal: successful writers are (or should be) judged by only two things...tenacity, and a willingness to keep educating themselves. That's it.

Nothing else matters--I could care less if a writer is published. A successful writer (the writer who never quits trying and never stops learning) will be published, today, tomorrow, or next year. It's just a matter of time.  Indie authors aren't left out of the party--the same confidence that makes a person a successful writer can make the writer a successful Indie author.  Writing and marketing an Indie book is all about tenacity and continual learning, to gain knowledge about what works and what doesn't.

I was an unsuccessful writer for a long time. Before that I was just a guy who talked a lot about trying to write. I was sure I could write great books, but I never proved it to anyone. Now I've written two books, and I'm still not sure I've proved anything--to me or anyone else. But I'm a successful writer, and I still think I have the ability to write as well as those authors I named--if not now, then someday. My next book will be better.

I really believe everything I just wrote...99% of the time--and my friend will be there for me when I go through my next emotional swoon. 

Find the confidence to believe that you can write at a professional level. Go figure out how to do it--and never stop learning. Have confidence. Fake it if necessary. Fake it until you believe it--and find that special friend who will believe on those days when you feel like a fraud.


  1. So glad I dropped by, really enjoyed this post! Can't believe you do 'sulky-mopes' though ... had to laugh at that, but know exactly what you mean.

  2. HA! Thanks, Linn! I have my fair share of those moments--but I try to keep a stiff upper lip....