So, E. Michels is sick. I am not sure how one gets sick in the summer, at home, while watching me remodel our kitchen, but she managed to do it. As I looked upon her lying on the sofa moaning, “UHHHH, I feel so crappy. And, I have to write a blog post.” I decided to take pity on her and help a sister out. So, the Alpha Male is taking over the airwaves this week for some tidbits of random thought, and an opportunity to rant about life. I would like you to note the quality of my punctuation. It is a little known fact that I do all of E. Michels initial line edits. Oh yeah, that’s right – the secret is out. As a point of order, I believe in the oxford comma just like I believe that Pluto is still a planet, regardless of what is currently trendy. I am just old school like that…well, at least 90s school.
Anyway, I have watched my beautiful bride toil over her laptop, actually she has gone through 2 of them so far, and is working on a third; and I must admit I am very proud of her. She (and I’m sure many of you) has faced insurmountable odds on her way to realizing her dream. All forms of obstacles (that’s pronounced ob-stack-els for you OH BROTHER Fans) along the way: rejections (oh the rejections), re-writes, re-brands, stopping manuscripts half way in to start another, etc. The list goes on and on. I thought early on the rejection was the worst. I don’t know about you, but there are only so many times, and so many people, that can tell you, “YOU SUCK” before you start to believe it. In contrast, there are only so many times your loved ones and friends can tell you, “YOU DON’T SUCK” before you no longer believe them. Getting through this was by far the worst, or so we thought.
I would have to say that, in truth, the rejection stage was not the worst. Truly the hardest part to overcome begins much, much, further down the line. Let me paint a picture for you. You just pushed through the rejection thanks to your unshakeable self-confidence (or sheer stubbornness – your choice.) You have signed with an agent, you have a book deal, you are on deadline, and things are going well. You have won the war. You have book one done, book two almost done, and you are still working on book three. Things are clicking baby, your creative juice sippy cup runeth over. All is right with the world. Then book one hits the shelves. At first this is AWESOME!!!! You are on a high matched only by rolling ecstasy on a Friday night in the height of your college days (or so I have read.) This is what it’s all about, you are blog touring, book signing, tweeting your heart out, and marketing is so much fun… Right? Oh, wait, shit, you have another book and a half to write. Now you are so wrapped up in worrying about your numbers, answering your comments, dealing with your publicist, all of your creative juice is corked up like an 80 year old man on an all fiber diet. What do you do?
In my humble opinion the worst thing that can happen to a great writer is getting published. If you truly want to distract, befuddle, and block a great writer; give them a book on the shelf to worry about. Once it becomes sales numbers, marketing plans, blog tours, and book signings, it is all over. You forget the only thing you are there for, the one thing you do, your only marketable skill – telling great stories. It is about the STORY, people. The STORY is the only thing that matters, it is your whole purpose in life. If you lose sight of that, you lose sight of why you started this crazy journey in the first place. Sure some people don’t do it for the craft, they do it for the idea of the fame and fortune. Those people will never see the fame, or the fortune; of this I am certain. The writer that will truly succeed as an author is the one that is focused on the story. If you remember this, block out the industry bullshit, you will look up from your laptop one day and realize that you became a NYT bestseller three books ago, you will shrug, and keep on writing.
Thank you for listening to my rant and remember – do not sell yourself short, do it for the right reason, don’t listen to the haters, and never give up.
“What do we fish for? BIG FISH!!” – Mr. Alpha Male
I plugged this in for E. Michels:
The thoughts, comments, and baseless complaints in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of Elizabeth Michels, or Elizabeth Michels LLC. They are intended for entertainment purposes only and should not be read by anyone. Now, go buy a copy of How To Lose A Lord In 10 Days Or Less.