A writer’s life is all about being larger than it.
So you’re an indie author, right?
Well congrats, pat on the shoulder and get in line with the others. Good luck for your whatever fiction/nonfiction. Sell loads. Right?
Hell no. A thousand times no. That’s not how this works.
You are an author. Stop. Yes, you are, look at me. You have a story, you are telling it or, bless your creative soul, you have actually managed it to put it all down in words. With decent grammar and spelling too. Well, congratulations, that already puts you on a higher plane. Editing? Publishing? Making money and quitting your crapjob? That commercial shit is of no consequence at all. Trust me and keep reading.
You are an author, creator of worlds. You make people. You give them life and their lives influence other people. Their stories improve lives. What’s that look on your face? No. I’m not crazy, though I may be a bit drunk, but let us not be distracted by that. What we need to focus on is the effort I am putting in here to get you to focus on one, essential point. It is not a simple concept so I will break it down for you:
ONE: You are narrative
I’m not talking about your book, silly. I’m talking about you. Your essence, what makes you you, is an amazing little part of your brain called “The Interpreter” (I reserve the rights to write a whole trilogy based on that title) whose job is to gather all your most relevant thoughts and turn them into a story. A story about you. That’s what you are. You are you telling yourself your story. Think about it, this is the part of your story when you realize, as you read this, that you’re telling yourself about your realization. You can make your own story, just own your narrative.
One rule. You can’t lie to yourself.
TWO: You need that ego to be BIG
I’m telling you this because you have to realize you are allowed to feel good about it. More than that. You need to be absolutely convinced that you are the best damned author in the universe. Because this magic comes at a price, and the price is that you cannot allow yourself to doubt one second, or your creation will suffer. You are the best. boast about it.
But not in my presence or I shall be compelled to challenge you to a duel, to the death.
THREE: People will hate what you write
It’s inevitable. You can’t meet everyone’s tastes, so negative reviews will be unavoidable. They do not diminish you nor your work. Focus on the fans, and forget the others. To tell you the truth, you shouldn’t even judge those who disliked your book just because it wasn’t suitable for them.
Except for Andrew, who gave me three stars, Die in a fire Andrew.
FOUR: You have serious responsibility
Don’t take your work lightly. It is never “Just a story”. As I said, narrative is at the core of reality. You influence your readers’ perception of the world. Motorola invented clamshell phones because one of the engineers was a Star Trek fan.
FIVE: Nobody else will tell that story
If you have an awesome book lodged between your ears, and for some reason you keep it to yourself, it will be lost forever. No use ‘giving’ the idea to someone else. They will not tell it the same way. It is your duty.
One of the main reasons for writer’s block is not believing you are up to the task. Authors box themselves into a corner of insecurity thinking they will never match the awesome greatness of the great names. You become your own greatest obstacle. You tell yourself the story of your failure.
Stop that nonsense.
You write. You sway the hearts and minds of people. Whatever you write there is a public waiting for your words. Lead them. Inspire them.