Monday, June 9, 2008

You need to have perspective

We all have dreams.
We all have things that we want to happen and places we want to go.
But, they all may not happen... We have to remember that.

Writers, I am afraid, often suffer the worst from this problem - a complete lack of perspective. After spending countless hours behind their computer, working on the story that has completely taken over their lives, these writers begin to develop a false sense of reality. Suddenly, the story takes on a new life of its own and becomes something that it is not. Worse yet, the writer begins to see themself as somethng that they are simply not.

O.K. it is time to burst your bubble here. Writing is for everyone but everyone is not going to make it big in the publishing business. In fact, many writers, will likely never see any of their writing in print, with the exception of the work they print off at their local printer, or off their own computer.

Now, before I go any further, please do not get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with writing. I believe everyone should write. This is one of those few forms of personal expression that really everyone can do. This is a chance to expose your soul, to write about those wonderful places and fantasies in your head.

But this does not mean you are meant to be published.

Again, I bring this up as we approach conference time. I bring this up as some of you will "get that call". I beg of you - please keep your feet on the ground at all times.

You will hear of all the great successes other writers have had. You may sit in on "Conversations with..." and be energized. You will hear of many speak of "6-figure deals". Please remind yourself though - This is for the RARE few.

I know what you are saying. "But Scott, I could be part of that rare few! It could be me!."

True, it could be you. But it is here that we start thinking possible versus probable. You have to find a way to keep this dream world in check with the reality. Consider the following things:

- Many of these writers have huge support staffs that take care of a lot of other things so they can write.
- Many of these writers have their kids already out of the house and a spouse taking care of things financially.
- Many of these writers have been doing this for decades
- Many of these writers broke into the market when it wasn't as competitive.

Now think about these things for you:

- Quitting your day job is highly unlikely.
- You have to juggle everything you have now with the writing (but at a higher speed).
- If this is your first manuscript, the odds are really against you.
- If you don't have a support network for your writing that is trained and educated in the publishing business, the odds are against you.

All that I ask of people is to think. Remember where you are in this huge publishing food chain. Remember there is no easy way to success. Think of this like the Oregon Trail - Few made it (compared to those that tried). Along the way, these settlers saw graves of those that died and they saw wagon's heading back. For those that remained in the East, they often saw many return, and more just disappear.

Just something to chew on this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment