You need to get writing.
Contracts are being written at this very minute while wine glasses are filled. People are being published as bottles empty. Booksellers are getting books and placing them on shelves. All this happens while other writers are getting lost. There’s much ado about writing out there. Let’s break it down into three categories of A.D.O.;
There’s an abundance of advice on how to write. Thousands of books cover the topic of writing from Stephen King’s “On Writing” to Donald Maass’ “Fire in Fiction”. There are websites, blogs and conferences where you can do seminars to learn the craft. There’s as much advice on how to write as there is air to breathe.
As a writer you need to get to a place where you combine it with practice. When the writing day is over, make sure you’ve scribed something because one of the best schools of writing is writing. It has been said you need to write over a million words before you consider being published. (Then you can crack open that Shiraz or pinot noir and celebrate).
Writer’s procrastinate. It’s as common as breast feeding, just not as good. You can’t dawdle around and expect to have the next best-seller. Read what advice you want; then write. Come up with reasons to do this or that; then write. People with excuses don’t have book deals and people with book deals don’t have excuses.
If you find you have trouble getting into it, set some time goals. Between 11:00am and 1:00pm, I’ll read, study, take notes and ruminate, but at 1:00pm, I start writing.
We’ve all heard the odds of getting published. They’re staggeringly against a novice writer. Literary agencies tell us that queries mount into the thousands per year. Hundreds upon hundreds of unsolicited queries hit an agency weekly. And that’s just one agency. There is a phalanx of agencies in New York alone. I’ve read agents who have said they took on two new clients this year. That’s two out of thousands of queries. Wow, you’d have a better chance of bumping into President Obama in self-help section in the Barnes and Noble booksellers on Fifth Avenue.
With that in mind, it doesn’t matter. That’s right, you read it correctly. It doesn’t matter. (Note to self: get wine ready) It doesn’t matter if you wrote something unique. It doesn’t matter if your voice is unheard of, your style a dream and your story telling ability a number one stunner.
So take some advice, don’t dawdle. Avoid thinking about how hard it is to break in to the industry. Just write a damn good story. Write. Make it original. If you knock people out of their chairs with your work, you have a better chance against those odds than if you just knock their socks off. Don’t dawdle, write. Avoid spending too much time with much A.D.O. about writing and get your story on paper.
After all, you’re a storyteller, right?