Writers: How to go from Amateur to Professional
You’re a busy person so I’ll get right to it. The biggest obstacle to your career as a professional author is your EGO.
Don’t deny it. Every Real writer has a massive ego. It began when we suddenly realized we were the smartest kids in the class and often times smarter than the teacher and so we developed a “Bow before Zod, son of Jor-el” attitude.
We had a real thirst for knowledge, read all the time, got crap from the lumbering herds of Doofi who referred to us as 4-eyes and Mr./Mrs. Know-it-all and were forced to answer the question, “Do you think you’re better than us” with a “No,” when the answer was an obvious and resounding “YES!”
But we withstood the abuse because we knew that someday we would be avenged! We knew that once we were at the pinnacle of the literary world all of those idiots would indeed Bow before Zod (or Bobby or Janey or in my case, Zackary) and we would no longer be asked “Do you think you’re better than us?” Because our superiority was obvious.
Unfortunately now, that super-duper, psychological EGOMANICAL armor that protected us so well as kids has become the main obstacle to our success.
Again, don’t deny it. Whenever we write something we pour our very soul, our very essence into our work. It is our life-blood, our personality, the core of our being.
And so when someone reads that work and starts critiquing it, we not only bristle we start plotting their demise!
HOW DARE THEY!??
Okay, take a deep breath, Spartacus because this is going to hurt. If your ego is shattered because some non-writer found what he or she considered flaws in your work, the problem is not with them, it’s with you because haven’t acquired the skills to know is the criticism is legit or not.
First, you need to adopt the comedians’ code. If the audience doesn’t laugh, either the joke stinks or you told it wrong. Of course no matter how good a comedian or how well-crafted the joke, not everyone is going to laugh. So how can you tell if your story is lousy or your reader is a dope?
YOU LEARN YOUR CRAFT!
I moderate a writers group and each week we submit a new piece to the group to be critiqued. We are instructed to be as savage as possible, to nit-pick and find the smallest flaws. When we come back the next week, we point out those errors to the author and suggest ways to fix them.
Because we are all writers, we aren’t as sensitive to their criticism because they know what they’re talking about and understand your sensitivity.
It is also a good way to become very good, very fast.
Here’s another important point. Simply because you have a college degree in Literature or English or an MFA, that doesn’t make you a writer. What makes you a writer is the ability to write a book that sells.
Otherwise, your writing is merely a hobby.
Don’t have a writers group in your area? Then go to the top right of this site and click on How to Write, Publish & Market Your Novel into a Best Seller. I wrote it and I know what I’m talking about. It costs under $5.00 for the ebook (a little over $6.oo for the audio book) It will teach you all you need to know. And by that I mean, it will teach you all the skills necessary to become a professional writer as well as the ability to determine if a critique of your work is valid, or just the ranting of some jealous dim-wit looking to rain on your parade.
As a publisher I’ve seen countless books that were written by people with gobs of talent, a mastery of word and phrase… AND NO DAMN SKILLS WHATSOEVER.
And why didn’t they take the time to acquire those necessary skills?
Because their stupid EGO told them it was unnecessary.
Listen to me! You’ve no doubt heard stories of that particular author who, without acquiring any skills at all, went on to sign a multi-book deal and sold millions of copies. And you’ve likely heard about the person who walked to the store, bought a lotto ticket on a whim and won millions of dollars.
IT’S THE SAME THING!
Don’t let your ego con you into thinking you’re so good you don’t need to master the craft and learn the business. Remember every Hall-of-Fame baseball player spent years in the minor leagues.
You clicked on this post because you wanted to know how to go from an amateur to a professional. The answer is this. Join a writers group or buy How to Write, Publish & Market Your Novel into a Best Seller
If you buy the book it will be the best five bucks you every spent. It’s all nuts and bolts, no filler. And because it’s an Amazon book, if you don’t like it you can return it! (And I don’t mind saying that because NO ONE EVER HAS!) Why? Well for example this is my 200th post and this blog is zeroing in on twenty-five thousands hits! So I think you can say I have a pretty good handle on this writing thing.
So do either one or the other and do it now. No one ever became proficient at anything by procrastinating.