Words & More Words

This Romance Writer’s Life…

Monthly Blog: Is It Just Blind Luck?

With St. Patrick's Day upon us, "luck" is something people either feel they have or they don't.

When it comes to publishing a best-selling novel, most believe it takes an act of God to succeed.

I think it's how you measure success. For yourself.

If you quantify based on the levels of, say Stephen King or Nora Roberts, James Patterson or Danielle Steele, maybe set your sights a bit lower. Not that you shouldn't aim high, but let's be real, those are some pretty high expectations.

Success could just mean getting your creation out into the world. Period.

Since I'm a writer--an author, as I've been remiss to state--my end game is to be published. I'd love to see all of my novels out there, on bookshelves, in Kindles or Nooks. What route I take doesn't really matter as long as I get my book into the hands of readers.

So, how does one get from Point A to Point B? From schlub behind the laptop in pajamas to New York Times Best Selling author?

Well, I'm going to share with you an industry secret that is going to literally blow your freakin' mind about publishing. It has nothing to do with a four-leaf clover; it has everything to do with FINISHING YOUR DAMN MANUSCRIPT.

I know. Earth-shattering, right?

Play your cards right (i.e. market the hell out of it) and your might actually turn a profit. But, a writer will tell you, the last thing you think about is making any money off of the darn thing. Remember, you're up against the big ones (King, Roberts, etc.). Still, who's to say it won't become the next big seller?

And, if that big publishing house doesn't come in and sweep you off your feet, do the brave thing and self-publish. Then get to work on the next thing.

That's it. Finish it and get it out there. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Seems simple right?

Well, I can attest that it's anything but simple. My current manuscript has been three years in the making. It's had starts and stops. Currently, I'm doing revisions and complete rewrites. But, I keep at it. Couple days a week, I sit my ass in the chair and work at it.

You can't publish a novel if it just sits in a drawer or on your hard drive with no movement. You don't have the right to walk around whining that you wish you were published if you don't do an iota of writing to get to a place where you could be published. 

That's not to say you shouldn't believe in luck. Just don't count on it. You have to do the work.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

--Ernest Hemingway

Kelly DuffComment