The words are there – and you are the best person to write them. If something in you is pulling you to write, trust that feeling and go for it! Start now! Kei a koe – it’s up to you!
You know that book you want to write? It’s inside you. I promise. It already exists – you just have to start! Those words will become sentences. Those sentences will become paragraphs. Then chapters. One hundred words a day? It’s a book in a year. You are the best person to write that book. (You totally are.) Pick up a pencil. Open a document. Start! Why not? What if? Everything is possible!
And once you’ve written your book? It’s all about taking control.
You may not be able to decide who will buy or like your book, but there are some things you can control.
From the second you make the decision to write, you are in charge! You choose the genre, the word count, the content, the editing, and (if you are self-published) the cover, too. Even changes your agent and editor suggest are ultimately up to you. Your book is a fingerprint on the world, and it is absolutely your creation.
Facebook? Twitter? Goodreads? You choose! The amount of time, energy, and you that goes into your promotion is your choice. Forget what you could be doing, what you should be doing, or what everyone else is doing. Do what feels right for you! As Nathan Bransford says, “The next big thing is never like the last big thing.”
An anonymous interwebber tweets you. They review your book, your baby. They call it rubbish. Crap. Badly formatted, hideously worded, error-filled-ugly-covered crap. And they do it with spelling that would disappoint a first grader. Prepare yourself. Once your work is published, it belongs to the world. Your response? Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to not only read my book, but to share your thoughts. You don’t have to correct, complain, or justify. Yes, the reviewer might be completely wrong. They might be mistaken, out of line, and all kinds of mean. (Or they might be the only person brave enough to tell you the truth..!) Either way, when someone spends money, time, and energy on you – it is awesome! One review is one review. A tweet is gone tomorrow. But the way you respond reflects on you, and a rant can reek forever.
Your goals are what you do, but your intentions are how you do it. You get to present yourself with professionalism, humor, warmth, and optimism (or not!) You get to choose what you put out in the world. You may get rejected, but you get to choose the agents you query, the groups you join and the writers you support. And as for who you link up with, and where you hang out? That’s right: all yours. Decide how you want to be in the world, and who you want to connect with. Because over time your intentions become who you are.
Chances are, even your favorite author has had some scathing reviews. Some rejection. Some slow sale days. Do you hear them going off about it? Whining? Grizzling? Nope. They’re busy. Writing.
Being a writer is a dream. It’s a top-of-the-bucket list, thing-to-do-before-I-die, can’t-believe-I-get-to-see-it-on-a-bookshelf dream. You are doing something that people aspire to. Even when the blank page is taunting you. Even when the twenty-third rejection rolls in. Even when you’re squishing rewrites in with a million other things. You are part of something amazing. Feel that with all your heart. Know that it’s true no matter what. You are a writer.
You may not be able to control who reads or likes what you write, but you can choose your words, your attitude, and your intention. Grab hold! Take control of what you can, and let the rest go. Seriously. Focus on what matters – having fun, creating the world you want, and writing your amazing next book! (I can’t wait to read it!)