“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” —Ernest Hemingway
Ever notice how some people look at others and exclaim how lucky they are when life rewards them for work? Brian Tracy does a super presentation where he talks about this. Basically, he outlines how someone labors for twenty years creating a situation where they’re ready when opportunity presents. The person spending evenings on the couch feels life is unjust because he’s not so fortunate. Of course, Tracy can’t help but relate it to taxes and political rhetoric about everyone paying their fair share. It’s quite funny.
Some assume people who are talented were born that way. Did you wake up one morning and have all the skills come into your head and hand via osmosis for the job of your choice? Me neither. Do you have people approach you and say “I wish I could _____ like you?” What do tell them? Next time, say they can. All they have to do is put the time in to learn – or pay you for your inborn genius.
It’s only taken me 30 years and counting of practice to write. Just ask my first newspaper editor about my natural talent. The first article I submitted had more markups in red than original content.
Another thing that makes me laugh is the assumption that good means fast. People figure if they can write a letter in ten minutes (for those who do, by the way – it shows) that any writer for hire can pound out twice as much in half the time. It’s true – just go to Fiverr to see a good number who do just this. You might want to check if they’ve heard of a dictionary, though.
I’m thrilled with the advent of e-readers and what Kindle is doing in particular. Vanity presses that have hijacked the self-publishing label, not so much. It’s opened up great opportunities for people with interesting writing ideas to publish and promote tight niche topic tomes and a variety of other material that would be too expensive to manufacture traditionally.
Of course, most don’t realize writing is the easy part in the book publishing industry. It’s the marketing and selling that winnows the successes. Many a writer has been dismayed to discover it’s their job to help drive buyers to books. In fact, publishers are putting a bigger emphasis on the author platform than credibility. A book with a well networked, eager promoter on the title page sells better than the best ever examination of a topic written by a hermit.
When you see a wordsmith who just seems to have good prose flow from finger tips effortlessly, chances are there’s more that goes on to get there than you think. If you dream of being a writer, you can – provided you’re willing to work for it. That includes selling. Or, you could simply hire someone to craft the message you need so you can do what you really want to do.