Have you heard any of the following?
“Write what you know!” “Long books don’t sell!” “Find out what’s selling and do that!” “No adverbs!” “Show! Don’t tell!”
These are often stated as being rules. My opinion? It’s all bullshit.
Here’s the thing. It’s not that any of that isn’t good advice. I’m sure it’s worked for someone, somewhere. In fact, I know it has. Stephen King is well known for his hatred of adverbs (though they certainly served him well during his earlier novels, just saying). But these aren’t blanket rules. Have you read a Lee Child novel? That man tells like it’s going out of style. I’d say it has worked for the guy. He writes some damn good action thrillers and Tom Cruise stars in his film adaptions; not a bad gig. I may try a bit more telling myself.
What’s the point of this blog?
The road to success, as a writer, is paved by persistence.
Be persistent. Part of being persistent is developing a vision and sticking with it. If you veer off the path every time someone throws a new rule at you or tries to discourage you or tells you that you’re doing it wrong, you’ll never reach your destination.
There’s a big world out there for authors. There’s an audience for pretty much every idea. When it comes to writing, there’s really no such thing as unconventional. Have you read House of Leaves? Have you read anything by David Foster Wallace?
If you can dream it up there’s a place for it, you’ve just got to translate that inspiration into words; words on paper, words on the screen.
So you want to be a writer? You want to be a successful writer? Just write. That’s all you’ve got to do.
The game has changed, people.
Perhaps you’ve heard of self publishing. It’s no longer the den of lepers that it once was. It’s no longer the place rejected manuscripts go to die. It’s thriving. There are so many brilliant pieces of literature coming out of that realm. Look up Wool, check out how many reviews it has, also, you may have heard that Ridley Scott is turning it into a film. Look up The Martian (you’ve probably heard of it). It’s a New York Times bestseller. The film adaption, starring Matt Damon (also directed by Scott) hits this year. It started as a self published novel.
Some of you may know that my latest novel (The Fall of Man) is self published (releases July 6th). This is my first indie effort. My previous two books were traditionally published. I never thought I’d go indie. But due to some things beyond my control, here I am. I had to handle the cover, the editing, the formatting, the marketing…everything was in my hands. It was a monumental task. I honestly didn’t think that the book was going to be released simply because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But here I am, a few days from the launch.
Folks, if I can do it, so can you.
In conclusion, you can’t hit if you don’t swing. There’s no great reward without great risk. Just do it!
Blah, blah, blah….
They say about 5% of the population will ever write a novel. I believe you’re part of that 5%. Hell, why else would you have read this far? There’s something great stirring in that brain of yours.
I believe in you.
Till next time,