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      • Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe 4 months ago
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      • Don't wait. Start writing NOW and you might finish writing all the amazing stories you have inside of you. Maybe.

        No. Seriously. Get off your butt. Start writing. Now! If you write it they will come. seriously.
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      • Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe 4 months ago
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      • Well, let me answer this as a writer and say that I think there are three things that go into making an author successful.

        1. You have to write. A lot. You have to regiment yourself to make time because at times it can feel like work because it is. A famous author (I can't remember which one) once said, "Writing is easy. You just sit down with a piece of paper or keyboard, open your veins and bleed." He/she is not far off. However, as John Dufresne, my creative writing instructor in college once said, "Writing is like mining. Just as you have to dig through a mountain to get gold, you have to write a mountain of crap before you write anything good.

        2. You have to learn the craft of writing. Ask yourself if you would let someone who is not a licensed and bonded plumber fix your upstairs toilet leak. I the answer is no way, you would say the same thing about reading a book by someone who doesn't know the first thing about putting a story together or a book that is riddled with spelling and grammar errors that take you out o a story when reading it. You wouldn't make it past the first chapter. So...you have to get really good at editing your work. At least half of being a writer is being able to self-edit your work before putting it in front of a publisher. This is a lifelong process as you can always become a better writer, even if you are a bestselling author. A writer will always be chasing perfection.

        3. A writer has to understand the business of writing. To successfully self-publish, you have to understand everything that a literary agent and publisher does for you from getting the book printed or published online to putting it in distribution channels to get it in front of people and then promoting the book. There sometimes seem to be a million ways this has to happen when you are finding success doing it yourself and you gain a huge appreciation for all the work that goes into promoting a new book. You need to understand what an agent does and what advantages there are to having one if you are trying to get your book published through a traditional publisher. Sometimes researching the various publishers that would be a good fit and obtaining contact information, researching submission guidelines, etc. can take almost as much time as writing the book did to research. Add to that not knowing which agent is looking for what type of book and you can see the benefits quickly the first time you try to do that yourself. Understanding how to negotiate the rights in a book deal is also huge. Having not just an agent but a good agent is incredibly important. So...learn the business of writing and evolve as the publishing industry has not remained stagnant over the past thirty years. It has evolved and therefore you must also evolve if you want to live in this magical world.

        Write a lot. Study the craft of writing. Learn the business of writing.

        This does not guarantee your success. It only gives you the best chance to succeed. And without doing these three things, plan on spending thousands on a vanity press just to see your name on the cover of a book you can hand out to family and friends...who won't read them and will probably avoid you like the crazy black sheep in the family who can't give their books away and yet can't stop talking about being an author. Anyone can write. Being an author is hard. You can tell the difference because you will have poured part of your life and soul into your stories as a writer. Writing it...editing it...promoting it. Then doing it all over again, all in the hopes that someone asks you why you had to kill such and such character or what happens to another one. For that is the sign of a great novelist. When people care about what happens to the characters in your story. I mean seriously...who was NOT pissed off that Ned Stark got his head cut off just as we were really starting to see such admirable qualities in his characters, even having a sense of foreboding that he was doomed? If you don't know who Ned Stark is...I'm sorry, but you need to get out more. It's like not knowing who Harry Potter is. He's the boy who lived, just as Ned Stark is the man who died. Game of Thrones, poser. Buy a book once in a while why don't you. :-)
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