So, Eclectic Bard Books has two new authors coming out of the debut shoot this year. Exciting stuff! Every time a new author makes the leap to public consumption I cannot help but take a moment to remember my own. It’s not been so long ago even though it isn’t all that recent either.
As I look back I try to make a point to remember what I have learned and what I can un-learn. Sounds weird, right? Does to me and I’m the one who’s doing it. Basically, because with each new author to the label, I’m having the same conversation at some point, here’s the top ten things I know to be true (and reminding myself is a good thing):
1. There are some universal truths out there but mostly, what works and doesn’t work for different people may not be from the same ball park nevermind inning. Focus on your own play; not the fielder, the pitcher, the catcher or the ones screaming “Hey batter” from the dugout. Play to win no matter where you are in the lineup.
2. Just as fast as it came together in your head it call all disappear, take notes. Life happens and will kill ideas before you can get to them.
3. Have a To Be Written pile as big as your To Be Read pile. Take ideas and let them percolate instead of vaporize. Create your opportunities.
4. After all the tweets, facebook posts, newsletters, emails, and photographs there is you. Are you worth knowing? As writers, we ask readers to come inside our minds and take a stroll through our story, if you aren’t someone they want to meet, why would they want to step inside your head to read?
5. Remember that The Lord didn’t do it all in one day…you can’t either. Allow yourself to be human. Have goals, have faith, have a plan…but have permission to need a break.
6. Success is a personal definition. Don’t let anyone else tell you how good you are or aren’t. Define it, find the path and go get it…BUT be prepared to bust your ass for it and don’t give up.
7. Everyone has an opinion. Accept that not all will be the’ happy-happy I love your work’ kind and move on. Writing isn’t about that.
8. Ask for help. Know your resources and be willing to let someone be the expert you aren’t. Reciprocity is a beautiful thing.
9. Pay it forward. NO ONE gets to the top of the Best Seller lists or to a contract without someone else there. There is no my best friend the author will make me a best seller…they can be helpful, but they can’t do it for you. When you get where you want to go, be aware of others who need your ear, your insight, your advice and share it. Just like someone gave you a hand up – keep it going.
10. Believe in the dream. It can come true.