DYK? Success is NOT Accidental
So, if there’s one thing that drives me batshit crazy, it’s when people think success is somehow accidental. Those people will say:
“It’s DIFFERENT for you.”
But yeah, okay: fine. Let’s run with that. Yes, it WAS different for me …
- I was a very young single Mum, with no money.
- I lived literally in the middle of nowhere, with no childcare.
- Social media had not been invented yet!
- There were very few books, courses or whatever … And the ones that *were* around I couldn’t afford or weren’t relevant to me anyway (waaaah).
… In other words? Trying to make it as a writer, back then? Was WAY HARD for me … as it is for *anyone* with no connections or advantages, financial or social. Well, durr.
The Accidental Writer? Hell NO
But guess what. I still got where I wanted to be. And I’m STILL ON my journey. Because that’s what writers do. No one ever truly “makes it”. The destination is not important, but the journey is and all those other clichés.
But you want to know what YOU can do, to get where YOU want to go ... So let’s have a look.
You will need …
i) 2 lbs of talent
The obvious. You gotta be “good” (again, whatever that means), so get cracking and develop that writer’s voice of yours. The world doesn’t need any more vanilla scripts and novels! Make sure your writing craft ROCKS.
ii) 5 tablespoons of strategy
You need to decide WHAT you want to do … Plus HOW you’re going to make that happen. You need to do that IN ADVANCE.
I can’t stress that enough. “Seeing how it goes” is for chumps. This is your CAREER.
iii) 3 good dashes of networking
You need an online persona and you need it NOW. But don’t think all publicity is good publicity, because it so isn’t.
You need to ENGAGE … this means real life, too. Meet as many people as you can, whatever way you can. When I started, I emailed industry people and asked them if I could buy them a coffee and talk to them about writing. A surprising amount said yes! I owe so much to those fantastic people who gave me their time and their insights.
iv) 1 teaspoon of kick-ass concept
If you’ve not got a great concept? Then you’ve got nuthin’. It’s as simple as that.
So stop trying to hawk your “great writing”. Instead package up a brilliant PROJECT that no one can resist … and suddenly YOU’RE irresistible as a writer, too. What’s not to like?
v) A good sprinkling of persistence
Don’t let your opportunities fall by the wayside simply because you’re afraid of a “no”. FOLLOW UP on your submissions and leads and always, always make those connections, not to mention build and maintaining those relationships.
vi) 2 drops of self belief
There’s no point doing any of this if you don’t think you can do it. Seriously. You’ll get enough negative people along the way as it is, so be kind to yourself, DON’T kick yourself as well. You ARE a writer, by virtue of writing – end of .
vii) 1 Eye of newt aka Realism
Know there’s a fine line between self-belief and DELUDED. Know where that is, by surrounding yourself with people who can keep your feet on the ground and knowing how you can utilize feedback effectively.
viii) A pinch of good luck
Know what you deserve. Prep with optimism in your heart. If things don’t go your way, chalk it up to experience and move on. Getting bitter and twisted solves nothing. It only hurts YOU.
No one Said It Would Be Easy
Yeah, even with a recipe, being a writer is still hard. Forget about success being accidental or solely down to luck. Yes, there’s such a thing as ‘right time, right place’ but you can’t depend on that.
What are you waiting for? You’ve got the recipe. Start cooking. The method is thus …
Chuck it all in a pot and stir and stir and stir and keep going NO MATTER WHAT.
As a great philosopher once said: “You can do it if you put your ass into it.”
Okay, it was Ice Cube. Bue seriously, NO EXCUSES! You want it? Go get it.