We’ve been working with writers for more than twenty years, and we’ve discovered that what separates successful authors from also-rans isn’t always talent. A lot of times it has to do with it the way they think.
One way they certainly don’t think? Putting all their eggs in one basket.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Over the years we’ve had lots of folks come to us – aspiring writers – to tell us about their dream book. It’s the book they’ve been waiting to write all their lives and it’s all they want to work on.
So they work on it, they send it out and they start getting rejection letters — which is only natural — and then they get discouraged and quit.
That’s because they’re not really writers — they’re writers of that one specific book. Which now seems to be a lost cause.
Successful children’s writers may have a dream book, too. But while they’re working on it, they’re writing all sorts of other things. They’re writing to publishers’ needs, for example.
One of the the things we publish in the newsletter is news about publishers seeking a specific sort of book. So, for example, let’s say a publisher is looking for historical fiction about the Revolutionary War — perhaps something you’ve never thought about as a subject of your writing. But you figure “I’ll give that a shot” and you put together a query letter and a sample chapter or two. And maybe that’s what gets you published.
Successful writers write for websites. They create activities for kids magazines. They write greeting cards. They blog. They do all sorts of things to keep their name out there and make a few dollars while they keep working on their dream book. They recognize that it’s not a one-shot deal. It’s not all-or-nothing. That’s a very important thing for you to understand if you aspire to be a writer.
You are writer. Write.
It doesn’t have to be the one specific book that you’ve had your had your heart set on. Develop your craft and you will some day get that dream book published. And will be a lot better probably than it is right now.
So don’t put all your attention and energy on only one project. Be like successful writers.
Many eggs. Many baskets.