How often have you heard, in a flip tone of course; “Someday, I’m going to write a book.” Yep, I hear it almost every time I do a book signing. They make it sound like it was no great deal or accomplishment. Like it’ll take a couple of hours and kaboom… the book is done!
And of course there are those who, in a smugly condescending sort of way say; “How lucky you are to have such a fun hobby.” Don’t you just want to turn around and walk away – without muttering a single word? I always respond, “If it were a hobby, it wouldn’t take such dedication and hard work. But, I’m very blessed. It is my passion and I love writing. It’s worth the sacrifices I’ve made to get my books out there.”
I’m never rude or defensive, but you must stand up for yourself. You must let people know writing a book takes determination, imagination, discipline, late hours, isolation, and plain hard work. I’m convinced – unless you’ve written a book, you just can’t comprehend what it takes to write one.
Oh, I’m not saying all readers are blasé’ and unaware . . . our readers these days are hard-working, men and women of the times. They are loyal and voracious in their need for a ‘read’ fix. Today’s reader is worldly, educated, and willing to spend their hard earned money on a book they hope takes them away to another place, time, and situation. They want to be mind-entertained – and you better not let them down. If you don’t deliver what you allude to on the book jacket – don’t expect them to read another. WHY? Because there are millions of books out there – and you have this one chance to impress them. Like I said earlier – readers are loyal. Heck, I’m the same way. Aren’t you? You read a book you love . . . you are out there looking for another book by that author, because you know if you like one of his/her books – you more than likely are going to love the next!
“You’re only as good as your next book.” I’ve heard this said often, and I do believe it’s true. It’s an incredible feeling to type ‘the end.’ A feeling of euphoria overcomes you and you laugh, you cry, you have a glass of wine and toast yourself. You share your success with your family and friends, “I did it again! My latest book is finished! It’s my best book yet!”
But once the celebration is over - and you take a breath and have a quiet moment – you know what’s next. You are driven to do it all over again. This time the book must be even better. You must find a place in your heart and mind that hasn’t been tapped yet, and you feel driven to write it . . . your next book is going to be your best book yet!
And that leads me to the title of this blog. The only way to get this accomplished is – you must sit your butt in the chair and get working. Being a writer has a certain fantasy, an allure of sexy, a certain romantic image, a vision of mystery and panache.
But the writer knows it’s an allusion. It’s gritty, demanding, isolated hard work. For us - a labor of love. We push ourselves book after book! It’s never easy - - but so rewarding. To see that cover with your name on the front of it . . . nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . gives you such a rush. Oh…. I take that back . . . a comment . . . a kind, supportive, excited, loving comment from a reader makes it all worthwhile!