Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Toolbox Tuesday: Ironclad Will

By "will" I mean the will to do things.  This runs the gamut from simply having that self-starter mentality that will get you approaching the subject of becoming a novelist all the way to the sheer bull-headed (or pigheadedness) that you're eventually going to need not to give up.  In other words, stubbornness.  From general willingness to being strong willed.

Especially, the strong will.  This is where you go all medieval knight on your career and get Ironclad.

Starting a novel is easy.  Finishing it might even be easy.  It's when you start going through the edits and people are going to start criticizing you; pitching agents for YEARS; dealing with being on submission to editors and continually getting rejected by your dream houses; fighting with your publisist who pick bad covers and make useless book trailers; AND THEN having to adhere to a grueling touring schedule, making deadlines for the next book, and possibly STILL getting dropped because sales are too low -- where people start to crack.  Gosh that's a long sentence!

Many people just can't deal with it.  They either give up or take alternate routes.  I'm not saying that taking the alternate route is bad, I'm a strong believer in options for everyone.  While NY is my goal; I am, myself published through a small e-publisher and will probably, once in my life self-publish something.  But being an Indie author has its own set of trials and tribulations, especially if you aren't coming from NY and bringing your readers along with you.  If you want to sell at all, you have to promote yourself ENTIRELY on your own, often without being carried by larger retailers.  A hecktic self-promo schedule and, very often, (since you don't have the financial support of the big publishing house) a chunk of money coming out of your own pocket can run an enthusiastic self-published author into the ground.

I'm not sure many people realize just how frustrating and trying being an author can actually be.  People might even think it's easy...and maybe for someone like Nora Roberts it is.  But I bet it wasn't in the beginning.  Even J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer had trouble in the beginning.  It's always hard in the beginning.  And it takes wanting something so bad it hurts to keep you trudging through it all (even if the trudging hurts more).  Just envsion yourself an intrepid explorer on Mount Everest.  The air is frigid, you can barely breath, and every move hurts.  Will you lay downa dn let the snow bury you or will you continue plodding against the razor-sharp wind?  Depends.  How badly do you want to get to the top?

If your thinking of being an author, ask yourself that simple question.  Do you want it that bad?  Are you willing to do anything to get to the top?  Are you that kind of writer? 

If you are, then welcome to the very exclusive group of those with ironclad wills.  For you, the universe will hold nothing back...probably because you're just stuborn enough to beat it up for trying. :) 

Write on, dear friends.