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Last evening I was happy to be a speaker at this year's The Next Bestseller Workshop in New York City. The three day event is sponsored by the lovely Jennifer Wilkov of "The Book is Your Hook" fame. This wasn't one of those events where I prepared a speech and delivered it verbatim to the crowd of students, but instead, was interviewed by Jennifer, kind of like the Actor's Studio program you can catch on PBS now and again.
What amazes me always about writing students or newbies is not so much a hunger to know how to hit the bestseller lists, or to catch a movie deal or to nab even the ever illusive mega book deal. Many would be writers want to know what the average day of the author is like. How do we get so much writing done when life is constantly getting in the way? The distractions...the kids, the cooking, cleaning, the taking the dog to the vet... That kind of thing.
How in the world do you do it? the students ask.
I always tell them the same thing. The answer is not necessarily nice, or even kind. It is the reality of the writing life. The answer is that you must be selfish if you're going to make it as an author. You must devote countless hours to being alone at your writing desk. You must put off all those daily chores that serve only to distract you if you're going to devote an almost priestly devotion to the writing.
Lately, authors are besieged with get-rich-quick books and courses on everything from the keywords that will propel your book to the top of the Amazon list to the secrets behind Facebook Ads or even How to write 100,000 words an hour, or something like that. The books usually feature covers with piles of one hundred dollar bills on it, and the courses can cost you five hundred bucks or more.
If you wanna spend your money on this stuff, go for it. But in the end, the only thing that guarantees success...the only thing that you, the writer, can control...is your writing.
Sit your butt in the chair, forget everything around you, and do it.
Just do it. And then, do it again...
Did you love THE REMAINS? Pre-order THE ASHES, the second thriller in the Rebecca Underhill Trilogy.