We all know The Golden Rule, “Do Unto Others as You Would have Done Unto You.” I love that rule and strive to live by it, but without disrespect I’m going to twist that a little with the hopes of benefiting some aspiring authors.
Do Unto Yourself As You Would Have Done Unto You
Want other people to take you seriously as a writer? Then you must take yourself seriously. If you really want the be published and consider writing your job, then you must treat it as your job now. Show up. Be professional with yourself. Work. I know that sounds like a dirty word when writing is your love and means of escape, but come to terms with the fact that in order to progress as a writer, you will have to endure some amount discomfort. No pain, no gain. I for one would be a little concerned if writing never frustrated or challenged me.
Do you want people to think your books are amazing? Then put in amazing effort. That might mean taking classes, workshops, or even taking the time and money to obtain a degree. Raw talent is overrated, if it exists at all. You must hone your craft, study other writers and disect their work and figure out why it’s effective or ineffective.
Do you want to get discovered? Then discover the business of publishing. Go to conferences, meet agents and editors, follow their blogs, learn about how the business works and what avenues are available to you. It goes back to taking yourself seriously. Agents and editors have made books and publishing their profession. It is unreasonable to assume they will take you seriously if you don’t put in the necessary effort.
Do you want people to think your writing and ideas are fresh and exciting? Then know that the first “great” idea that pops into your head is probably not the most fresh and exciting. Even a few ideas is not enough. You must have a hundred. You should be constantly brainstorming, writing down notes and ideas. Only then will you generate unique creativity and others will be entertained by it.
The list goes on, but the principle is the same: We reap what we sow, and that is the reason for the Golden Rule in the first place. Yes, there is an element of luck to this business, and anything in life really. We can’t always control the outcome, but I truly believe everything we do comes full circle. If you do your very best within your sphere of influence, then you won’t have any regrets.