Now that I’ve spent the previous parts being negative and telling you all about the myths concerning writing, let’s focus on the things you can use to make it work. The first and in my opinion foremost key to success is the mental aspect, what goes on inside your skull. There are two components to this: Dealing with yourself and dealing with others.
We got the ball rolling in part one of this guide with an aspiring writer contacting me to review some of his fight scenes. It got me thinking about the last couple years, ever since I started writing books and what kind of ride it’s been: the good, bad and ugly. Let’s move on now to some of the common myths people believe about the job. Again, this is just my personal opinion, feel free to disagree if your journey has been different from mine.
Myth #1: I’ll write a bestseller and get rich in no time.
In truth, this could happen and it does. Every year, a handful of writers make it to the big time with a hit novel or non-fiction book. For instance; JK Rowling had an insane success with her first Harry Potter book. The sequels, movies and merchandising made her one of the wealthiest women alive today. Excellent! But, it also took her six years to write that first bestseller and many publishers turned down the manuscript.
For every success story like hers, there are millions of writers who either don’t get published or they make virtually no money at all in comparison. Sit down, have a cup of tea and repeat to yourself: “It may never happen. It may never happen. It may never happen.” Does that mean you shouldn’t try? Not at all. Only that you’re better off with both feet on the ground if Lady Luck never favors you.
A while ago, an aspiring author sent me a manuscript to look over the fight scenes. I just finished sending him my remarks and can picture him now, sitting at his desk, grinding out paragraphs and polishing the sentences. Now I don’t write fiction (nothing published anyway) but writing is writing, at least at the level I’ll be talking about.
I started writing over six years ago. It happened by accident really. Loren had seen some of my reviews and articles and asked if I’d be interested in co-authoring a book. I was amazed he’d even consider me for such a project but it seemed like fun so why not?
For the record, we wrote several books together and I still don’t feel like a “real” writer. I just don’t know what that’s supposed to feel like. I’m just me, that big, blond guy from Belgium, but with a few published credits to my name.
Anyway, fast forward a year and The Fighter’s Body was born. There’s no feeling quite like the one when you open the box of author copies and see all your hard work lying there on the table. Tangible, real, after all that time and effort. It’s easy then to romanticize the process that led up to that moment. In your mind’s eye, it all turns into fun and good times:
- The time you amazed yourself with a hilariously funny sentence.
- How great it felt when the first chapter was finished and the anticipation of starting on the second.
- The feeling of accomplishment when you send the manuscript to the publisher.
As you reminisce, your soul fills with a sweet, soft warmth and before you know it you have “The IDEA!” (TM). You’re going to be a full-time writer! By God, Crom and Bob the Mechanic, you’re the next Hemingway!
Hell, you can already see yourself in one of your million dollar homes! If those other guys can do it so can you, right?