Encouragement can come from any number of sources. It may be from your mentor, who takes the time to listen to you rant and ramble on incessantly. Then while laughing maniacally points out the complications and conflicts you will have to resolve if you decide to include a certain subplot. It may come from an author friend who brain storms with you over how the mechanics of a tricky point of entry can be plausible. And it may come from authors you have met briefly who know the path your on, have traveled it themselves, and are willing to share their knowledge of the pitfalls that you may or may not cross.
The path to being an author isn’t an easy one. Anyone who says it is is L.Y.I.N.G-lying. You write the first draft. Set it aside and let it stew so you can go back and look at what you’ve written with fresh eyes. You tweak, fill plot holes, re-write passages. Sometimes those passages can be whole chapters. When you think you’ve done everything you can, you send it to the editors. You then pray to the gods and goddesses of writing that your manuscript doesn’t come back looking like the editors red pen committed Hari Kari. Anyway, you go through the editing calls, the final hard read through then send your precious baby to be formatted.
The cover is accepted. The manuscript proof is A-Okay. Everything is a GO! Woot! You are finally going to be published! You did it! Celebrate now, because the work is just beginning. You have to promote. You have to engage potential readers and get them interested in reading your book. If you are an introvert, as I am, this could be a little out of your comfort zone. Okay, a LOT out of your comfort zone. LOL But it can be done.
Finally, your book baby is in the hand of the readers. You watch Amazon like a hawk. Are people reading your book? Are they liking it? Do they hate it? Do they think the writing has merit, or do they think it’s pure drivel? Aaaack! This can drive you bonkers. Yet, you still have to promote your book. You promote it because it’s YOUR baby. You want people to buy your book, read it, love it….or not, but whether or not they love it or not is out of your control. You do have the power of making sure they at least know about it. You think you’re doing well, then you remember, you have to write the sequel to your book. Wait! Crap! I do.
You start working on your new manuscript. You did it before. You can do it again. You keep in mind the editing calls from your first book. You recall that you have three paragraphs tops to capture the readers attention. Then you wonder, can you do this again. Can you flesh out the story as well as you did the first, perhaps a little better? Can you draw the reader back into a world solely of your making? The doubts creep in. Dark insidious thoughts that maybe you are a one book wonder.
You fartz around doing everything but writing. Then you go to your email and you find a notification from a writing contest you thought you were out of the running for. No, you didn’t win, didn’t make the top 3, or top 10 even. You did make the top 50! How many entries were there. *shrugs* No clue. Don’t care. You made the top 50 of a No More Than 30 Words contest! ENCOURAGEMENT from the least likely place. How cool is that?!
Now that I’ve procrastinated (procrastination and I are very good friends) with writing this post 😉 I better get to moseying on. There’s a story in my head that is waiting to be told. I have it on good advice that the story will not write itself. Until next week, keep your eyes open for the encouragement you need. You may find it where you least expect to find it.
Happy Reading and Happy Writing!