Kristen Lamb is pretty much required reading if you are an author these days. The media guru gives fantastic advice at her blog about all aspects of marketing, social media, and the process of writing itself.
This particular post of hers, When it comes to success, is it hard work or luck?, hit home with me in a way somewhat reminiscent of a baseball slamming into my head. Not that I’ve ever been hit with a baseball, but I imagine the result is similar insofar as “stunningly painful” experiences go.
What Lamb’s post did was crystalize something for me that’s been eating away at the edges: I’m not quite ready for good luck to strike.
I’m close, I think, in that I’m building up a back list of stories and working on a slew of new ones. But the thing is, over ten years ago I quit writing. Completely. Stone cold gave up. I looked at the stories I wanted to write, I looked (very, very closely) at the publishing industry as it stood at the time (this was back in 2000) and realized I was unmarketable. Even if I could find a publisher to take a chance on my stories, they wouldn’t sell. The framework wasn’t there to make a living selling to niche markets like M/M or M/F/M romance.
Fast forward to today, and I’m thinking of self publishing in addition to having my M/M work published by an online publishing house. The time is ripe and has been for two years now to launch a career and make a living doing just that — but I don’t have the stories. Luck is striking, NOW, but I don’t have the stories.
I’m still writing them.
It just makes me want to cry. I could have so much ready to launch if I had, at least, kept writing over those years. If I had some faith in myself, in my dreams, I would not be scrambling like I am now.
I’ll still make it, I believe that. I’m very self-confident, and anyway one thing I know is true is that persistance pays. So now I’m writing, and I’m going to keep writing.
I’m going to head that good luck off at the pass.