Wednesday, March 31, 2010

16 letters of fame (Waw)

For today's Write Away Wednesday, I will be offering aspiring authors some never-before seen advice. Three words, 16 letters to help you on your way.


Once you do those three things, you're good to go. Well, of course you need to WRITE too, but I'd like to think that would be obvious.

FLOSS- Floss every day. And brush your teeth. Maybe I'm just a little biased here, but I think getting rich is more difficult for writers than any one else in the entertainment industry. You can actually be a famous author, bestseller and all, and be pretty close to broke. As an actor or singer, if you're big enough that you're a household name, you've definitely got money. Unless you've squandered it away on necessities like personal jets and private islands. Which further proves my point. How many authors have you heard of with private jets?

On top of that, the writing process is really long. Even if you can churn out a novel in a month, then you have to let it sit for at least one more month, before you edit. Then you'll want to send it to critique partners, and then edit again. And if you're fast and lucky, maybe you can have a novel in 6 months. Then you query, and if you get a bite in your first batch that process could take about 3 months. Then the book goes on submission, lets say for 2 months. I think the quickest I've heard of from my debut author friends from getting signed to a publisher and publishing date is 11 months.

So lets do a little maths here: 6 + 3 + 2 + 11 =22 months or almost two years. And that's if you're lucky. Most people take a lot longer for their book to make it into print.

Let's compare for a second to a singer. I'll use Rihanna as an example, because she's from my country and I know her story. You sing at a school concert. Someone introduces you to a Music Management Head, you get signed to them, and later to a record company. The following summer, you'll not only have debuted, you'll have a number 2 hit on the Billboard charts. And she wasn't even trying!

What's this got to do with flossing. Simply put, you are not going to see any money from your writing for a loooooooooooong time. So don't spend it unnecessarily. Dentists are expensive!

STALK- every industry person you can find: publishers, agents, published authors, pre-pubbed authors, aspiring authors. Don't get me wrong. If Tawna Fenske finds you in her rose bush at 2 am, don't tell her (and the police) that I told you to do it. I will vehemently deny it. And the US government will never get me extradited from Japan. (MUAHAHAHA!)

I'm telling you to stalk these people in the legal, not-insane way. Just about every one has a web presence- find them and follow their blogs, tweets or facebooks. Join writer communities. Comment on everything. Go to book signings when authors pass through your town. Even if you've never read them before, pick up their book and try it out and go have them sign it. Then stick around, in case they like to mill around and meet people. If you can afford it, go to a writers' conference. Every chance you have to be around author-types, take it.

POUNCE- A few years ago, we had a problem at my university. They were granting degrees in education to kids who entered straight out of school. The problem that arose was that these kids would be qualified in education, but not in any other subject. So there wasn't technically anything they could teach. Writing is like this. You don't write about writing. You write about life. Or death. Or paralysing fear of zombie clowns. Whatever. The point is that you need to have some knowledge about something other than writing, to be able to write a novel.

So pounce on every opportunity to get. That's not saying if world tours are discounted to $5000, you should take out a third mortgage and go. Pounce- but within reason. So if there's a Korean culture festival in the town next-door, go! Your next novel's MC's Korean ex-boyfriend (whew! that's a mouthful) will love you for it.

Remember, you're only 3 words away from the life you desire. Say it with me:



Christi Goddard said...

For a vampire, this would be STALK. POUNCE. FLOSS.

Just sayin'

Great post :-)

Claire Dawn said...

lol! That's hilarious! Would make a great title for a short story :)

E.J. Wesley said...

Loved the post, Claire!

Marsha Sigman said...

This is great!

And I totally floss every day.

Tawna Fenske said...

I feel so important! I've never had a stalker before. This is very exciting. I'll be peering out my windows all the time now to see who might be spying on me. Then I'll invite them inside for wine and cheese.


Cynthia Reese said...

Tawna is also a very good cook, so don't just stalk her. Go to her house and knock on the door and tell her that I said she was a good cook.

Errr. I AM only joking. You DO know that, right?

Too funny -- and yes, this is most excellent, most awesome advice. You don't get rich writing books, but you can earn a living (or at least pay for the bum heat pump) by doing something that you ENJOY. :-)

ElbieNy25 said...

Excellent advice on all accounts. I should start flossing again. It also brings me back down to reality about my future fame and fortune as a novelist. Why did I stop flossing?

Neil Alvin said...

ahahahaha this was good, the FLOSS bit was truly funny... I likey :P