I read a statistic some time ago that over eighty percent of North Americans "have a book in them". More recently, I remember hearing a report on the radio that when asked what their dream profession was, the number one response from Canadian women surveyed was "author". Based on the statistics, I expect at least a portion of our readers of this blog may be aspiring authors.
And why not? How many of us can spend most of our working hours living in a dream world of our own making!
The simple laws of supply and demand—a huge number of people wishing to be published versus a much more selective process for publishers to acquire debut authors—means the odds of getting published are ever more daunting. It's easy to see why so many aspiring, talented authors may get discouraged. The fact is, if you have a passion for writing and don't keep trying, you will never know if you could have succeeded.
I have been conducting author interviews, and one of the questions I have asked is what advice these successful authors have for aspiring authors. I believe the responses can be words of inspiration for any of us—published or not. I would like to share some of the responses with you.
From Brenda Novak [New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne and the Holt Medallion. Brenda is also RITA finalist and Booksellers’ Best finalist for Home to Whiskey Creek.]:
"Believe! If you believe in yourself and what you are doing, you will do everything necessary to succeed. It’s also important to realize that every path is different. I know so many authors who were frustrated a few years ago. They just couldn’t get ahead in publishing. Then the digital revolution came along, they self-published the books they hadn’t been able to sell to New York and have made millions. You just never know what is right around the next corner—it might be your lucky break."
You can read Brenda's full interview at: Brenda's Interview
From Tara Taylor Quinn [An author of more than 65 novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with more than seven million copies sold. Tara won the Reader’s Choice Award, is a four time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, a multiple finalist for the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award, and has appeared often on local and national TV including CBS Sunday Morning.]:
"My advice is the same now as it has always been. If you need to write, do it for yourself. Write the book. Make yourself sit in the chair and type. Do not let your internal editor speak a word until the book is done. Same goes for the inner critic. Just sit and write. When you have a product, then look at content, at the necessity for edits.
Then figure out what to do with it. If you want to sell it, get your work out there. And if it comes back, learn, make it what it needs to be or start on another project, and get it out there again. And again. As many times as it takes.
Bottom line, if you want to be a writer, write. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever let someone else tell you you can’t. Just write."
You can read Tara's full interview at: Tara's Interview
From Elizabeth Heiter [Elizabeth's debut novel, Hunted, has been getting very positive response and is already translated in a number of languages. She had originally contracted for five books with Harlequin and has just got another contract for another two. We happen to share the same editor, the amazing Paula Eykelhof!]:
"My best advice for aspiring authors is the advice I received myself before I published. I attended a book signing many years ago of Suzanne Brockmann’s. To paraphrase, she told me, “the difference between an unpublished writer and a published author is perseverance.” For years, I had that quote pinned up on my inspiration board. Beyond that, I think the best advice is to join a writer’s organization, find a critique partner you can trust, and never stop trying to improve your craft."
You can read Elizabeth's full interview at: Elizabeth's Interview
And last but by no means least, I also had the opportunity to interview Heartwarming author, Rula Sinara. Although I did not ask her this same question, The Promise of Rain is her debut novel and you will likely find her journey to getting published inspirational.
You can read Rula's full interview at: Rula's Interview
If you are an aspiring author in need of encouragement, I hope you found some in one of the above excerpts. In summary, believe, focus and persevere!
Now, I have a questions for you:
Published or not, what inspires you to keep writing?
Please leave your answer in the comment section below.
Happy reading or writing!