If you want to become an Author all you have to do is one, little thing: write.
Yes, I said it already, I’m not joking. But if you want to become a Professional Author there’s a little more to that, though.
It means lot of dedication; it means days and nights spent writing even when you do not have the mood for it; it means lot of work that is – unluckily – not too much related to writing (marketing, promoting,… ).
You’ll need to read your own writing so many times you’ll be nauseated by it.
Read, edit, proof-read, then modify it and read, edit, proof-read it again, and again, and again. And when you’ll think you finished, you’ll realise you missed something crucial and you’ll have to start again. It’ll be almost painful.
Then you’ll have to write a description for your book. You’ll have to think about a title, about a cover. All of this may seem very easy (a title? really? Does it takes more than 10 minutes to think a decent one? Yes, it does.), but I can assure you that if you find something to be easy to do, you’re doing it wrong.
6 questions to ask yourself before starting*
Why do I write?
Reason can be success, money, a promise, access to lot of free white paper or because you simply like it. This last reason, though, usually don’t last long alone. If you only like to write, you’ll have problems writing in those days when the inspiration is lacking: it’ll not be easy to find the right motivation.
I mean, I love to write, I love my readers, I love all of this. But it’s though: the reason to write must be within yourself, ready to be sought whenever it’s needed.
Who is my muse?
Is it your wife or your husband? Is it your cat, or a series of book you really liked? Is it nature, or the movement of the planets? In which ways inspire you? Not everyone needs a muse but it’s a good lifeline for the times when your writer’s block will arrive. Because be sure it’ll.
What motivates/demotivates me?
I’ll tell you again: you’ll need to write, and edit, and proofread, and manage publications on multiple websites. You’ll have to manage a couple of social accounts, you’ll have to study and learn a lot, if you aren’t already from the business. All of this, will have nothing to do with writing. It’ll be boring, and you’ll be able to get through it only if you have the right motivation.
What motivates me the most, at the moment, is leaving a legacy. I want to do something that will last, something my sons will be proud of, something someone may read when I’m dead, and in such way bringing me back to life for a short moment.
Legacy is the future, and there’s something else from the past that motivates me almost with the same force. But I’ll dedicate another post to it 😛
How will I measure my success?
You are writing, you are publishing. When will you consider yourself “successful”? Is there any measurable metric for that? “I want to sell 1 book/day by the end of the year” and “I want to acquire 20.00 0followers on twitter through my writing” are good metrics, for instance.
You can measure it, and adapt it month by month setting up new goals. Having a goal, helps in focusing your attention.
I set my goals in the short and medium term. For instance my current medium term goal is tu publish four among my stories and collections by the end of the year. Let’s see if I’ll manage it!
What do I Write?
and last but not least:
Am I going to be able to put the necessary effort into this, in the long term?
Because once you start, once you set off on your journey, you’ll lose all the progress you have made if you decide to stop even for a couple of weeks. Your writing skills need to be polished daily. Your social media followers and your readers won’t wait forever: they’ll move on to other authors.
Ride the wave, but remember:
*Six, for now. I’m sure we’ll add more in the future.