It’s not at all like they portray in movies, unless of course you’re talking about one of those Johnny Depp movies where the characters come to life and haunt the writer… in that case, it’s completely accurate.
But, putting Johnny Depp’s fabulous self aside, writing is not like the movies. You don’t become an international sensation with your first manuscript. You don’t become rich, racking up royalties faster than you can spend them, off one fiction manuscript. And if you’re a children’s author, you definitely don’t get a 7-movie deal when you sign your first contract.
Those are farces. Sure, they happen to someone. But, in that aspect, someone wins the Powerball, too. It’s your chances that matter. I’m not saying you’re a terrible writer. I’m not saying your work isn’t good enough to snag a film deal, become a New York Times bestseller, and drive a cultural phenomenon. Hell, your work is probably better than the last book that snagged all the attention – and it’s most likely a whole lot more original than Stephanie Myer’s last batch. But, that’s not the issue.
Like most things in life, it comes down to who you know, what events you attend, and how much time you spend promoting your work. A full time mother with kids who is unable to get out to most writers’ events is substantially less likely to garner massive attention than the college student who spends all day, every day promoting on social media websites and attending every event they can get their hands on.
You have to treat your work like your baby. You have to groom it, you have to support it. And whatever you do, don’t turn your back on it. Not even for a minute. The literary world is a fickle place, and in the time it takes for you to vacation in the west for two weeks, someone else has snagged your Amazon ranking and stolen the small limelight you had begun to develop for yourself.
Promoting your book is a full time job in itself. If you walk away, even for a moment, you’re going to find a very cold shoulder when you return.
Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Push that book as hard as you want the notoriety, as you want people to recognize your work for the masterpiece that you know it is.
Most of success is in your attitude, anyway. So go, shine. Be the force your book needs.
In true bookish fashion, May the odds be ever in your favor. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!