In the years before I became a published author, I spent many an hour scouring authors’ webpages trying to figure out how they accomplished the seemingly impossible task of getting published. While no one journey in particular held the magic answer for me, I did learn a great deal from reading those experiences. As a result, I thought I would share my own history in a series of posts. As I mentioned in the title, these are my VERY PERSONAL experiences. I am in no way trying to argue that there is one right way to do things.
So I bought three more books on writer’s craft today. Does that surprise you?
Behold my desk as it stands this very moment.
Messy I know. This sampling represents a tenth, twentieth, maybe even thirtieth of the books I own on writer’s craft. (I know there’s some fiction in there too – but stay with me). I thought about my collection today as I read an article about Impostor Syndrome (Why You Feel Like a Fraud And How to Overcome It). It had some pretty interesting research in it. Give it a read if you have a second. The point that stuck with me is that one of the ways to battle Impostor Syndrome is to focus on learning not perfection. I think this is why I love the books on writer’s craft so much. They offer the hope that with hard work I can improve my skills. I can continually get better at the thing I love. This a good, creative place to be.
I can tell you of the three books I have written so far that are now out of my hands (published or in the process), there are things I would change about each and every one of them. BUT if I waited until I was completely satisfied, they would never get out there.
If you are a writer who is waiting for the moment when you feel like you’ve magically transitioned into a REAL writer in order to get your work out there (whether it be to contests, agents, publishers or just a friend), let me humbly suggest that that particular moment is probably not going to come – AND while you wait, you are missing out on valuable feedback.
Take it from me. I thought when I won my first contest I would feel as though I arrived. Nope. Didn’t happen. How’s about when I got my first ebook deal? Nope…not yet. My agent? No…still not there. Three-book deal? Funny…but no. You see, I could always push the “arrival” destination back or away. After all, I don’t have a proven sales record yet. And what is that sales record? Do I need to be a bestseller before I consider myself legit? And what then? Do all the critics have to like me? Methinks the destination is a mirage.
Okay so this may all feel a little…
But I still have moments when I battle with the REAL writer phenomenon and I have found these tips help – so take from it what you will!