|Is this what success looks like? Yes please!|
Now in my naivety I thought that stringing together around 70,000 words in a vaguely coherent story was the real hard work, so I was a bit shocked when I read that I still had the big mountain to climb. For several months I panicked, I floundered around; I did a bit and then didn’t do most of it. I felt totally overwhelmed by this huge, seemingly insurmountable obstacle that had been placed in front of me. How was I even going to start building that shiny author website with lots of singing, moving gizmos and buttons? What about all these book signing gigs, talks and radio shows? How are all these other people doing it?
These characters I now know as well as my own family and friends. Even if I don’t write every day, I will still be thinking about them, plotting a new part of the story or trying to change a bit I have already written to make it better. Aten, Druitt, Neferhotep, Merytamen, Luke and all the others are now my mates; friends that I spend a lot of time with. For the first time, I am killing off one of my characters and it is bringing a lump to my throat as I write the words that seal his fate.
Every author is different and on their own path to success, so my advice would be to take on board any knowledge, tips and tools that resonate with you, that you know you are going to enjoy working with and just go for it. More importantly, know that trusting your own instincts and following your heart will lead you more surely towards your goal than any advice given by others, however well meant.
Do I want my Aten Sequence books to be read by lots of other people? Do I want to find fame and fortune with them? Yes of course I do and I know that I will probably have to use some of the marketing and promotional tools that luckily we now have available to do it. But I’m open to experiencing pure luck and being an overnight success with no effort involved. I’m going to stop beating myself up about what I don’t do and give myself a big pat on the back for what I do get done. For me, the path to success is no longer through suffering and hardship. I’m going to spend my precious time doing more of what lights my life up, which is writing. I’m going to start writing myself a different success story.