I tend to be the kind of person who looks for a pattern to solve a problem…I figure if there’s a puzzle, there has to be a way the pieces fit together that makes the solution apparent.
I’m now wondering if I am completely off base.
In my writing journey, I have tried to look at other authors who are doing better than me (yes, I do the thing they tell you not to do, but how else do you figure out how to improve?) and see what they are doing that I am not. In the last couple days, I have gone through several things that made me think “Ooh! This must be it. This must be the thing she is doing that I am not and as soon as I do it the sky will open up and angels will sing.”
But then I will go look at a different widely successful author and discover that she is not doing the very thing the first author was doing. Or that she is, but not doing as well as myself or the first author despite her astronomical sales.
There was only one thing that I found that matched between both authors:
Ready for this?
Here it is: they both have written double or triple the books that I have. Which in turn also means that unless they are both crazy writing machines they have been in the game longer than I have.
And unless some writing fairy sprinkled some magical publishing success dust on their pretty little heads, they’ve worked their asses off PRODUCING WORK.
Yes, Twitter and Facebook are important for getting exposure. You can have a great book but if no one knows about it, it can go into Amazon oblivion. But the key part of it all is producing good work, and producing it often. It seems so simple, yet it’s the answer that’s hardest to wrap your head around.
There IS a pattern: write more
There IS a magic pill: write great work
Is the answer easy? No. It’s much easier to think I’m just not tweeting enough, or a Tumblr account is going to send me to the promise land. But in the time I take to do that, I could have written 200 more words that have a way better chance of getting me where I want to go. So in that spirit…
Stop surfing the blogosphere and get back to work!
That’s where I’m going.