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How to become a published author

The short version:

Get over yourself and write just be awesome.


The slightly longer version:

Work hard. Stop talking about how you’re going to write the book. Stop thinking you’re special and sensitive and delicate or deserving of more time, more support, more money, more specialness – just start writing.

Too many people are hung up on their creative abilities – yes, you are creative. You know it because you have ideas. When everyone else seems paralysed by the obstacles ahead of them, you can come up with opportunity. You can be a writer when you can read a book and realise there’s more to it than just words and grammar – that it has a structure, that there are red herrings, that there are hints and hooks to emotionally stir the reader or direct them to an idea. That’s the skill and ability you need to develop more than perfect spelling. (I say this of course because I am a rubbish speller).

You dream about being published, how awesome that will be when you’re rolling in royalty dough – yeah we all do that. (Doesn’t happen). But then when it comes down to it, you dream about your story more. You can see your characters, you can hear their thoughts, you know their motivations, fears and ideas. And you know they can affect people. These characters, their fragilities and actions genuinely move you – probably much more so than those dreams of fame and fortune.

Listen to people. Like really listen. That means shutting up and listening to what they have to say. Listen to the emotions, listen to what’s unsaid, listen to their minds work as they form the sentences from their mouths. And make doubly sure you are listening if they are commenting on your work. The intention behind what they say is so much more important than what they are actually saying.

Stop caring if people are listening to you. You might be writing the greatest novel of all time – the world won’t care until it’s in their hands for them to read. Talking about your work to dissect problems and work through solutions is great – talking about your work to boost your ego and make you feel special and unique is a waste of time. (Cause you’re too awesome for that bullshit.)

Push through the negative stuff. Find a support network who will help you reframe your bad thoughts into productive ones. Depending on who you are, different things will work for different people. It actually matters less if they are nice and caring and supportive, and more how their actions affect you. If someone is mean and unsupportive or dismissive of your feelings, and that spurs you on to write more and get out of the funk cause you’re just freaking mad – then that’s the butt kick you need.

Keep writing. Even if it’s utter crap. Just keep writing.

Cause you are awesome.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.