Become an Author
Becoming an author is not the hard part. In fact, in 2022, with advanced technology and numerous publishing houses, getting published is easier than ever before. All it takes is an editor and a manuscript. But what remains harder, perhaps the most difficult part of this journey, is the path towards success. Turning your writing into a memorial, to have your work monumentalized so that generations later you’re still remembered, maybe even studied in lecture halls and cited in research works, is a stepping-stone that many only dream of reaching.
For any author, writing is the means to an end. It is the only thing which even allows you to carry the title of an author, the skill which to a certain extent predicts your success. Which is why, all authors are advised to write everyday. What you write is up to you, maybe nonsensical or an exploration, but the genre is of little concern, it is the habit that is the prime focus. To sharpen your skills with every word.
But, that isn’t all that is essential for success, especially in the world of publishing where the industry is churning out more than 2,700 books everyday. So, the aspects of uniqueness and skills need to be paired with a few other requirements. This article isn’t a guide to success as much as it is a peak into the ways through which many authors have established themselves. As individuals, we all carry ourselves differently and how we use our resources, naturally, differs. But, to recognise that a few resources, a few communities exist and must be utilized, is the first step.
Never Stop Writing
This isn’t a reiteration. It’s merely a fact. You are only a writer as long as you write and hence, honing your skills is the greatest way to climb that ladder to success. For someone who is just entering the field of writing, developing such a habit may seem difficult so it’s better to start slow. Instead of writing for four hours straight in a single day, it is better to divide that work and write for 30 minutes each day.
The habit can help you become more organized and even sharpen your existing skills. For beginners, it can serve as a means through which you can experiment with your writing process, the genres you like to write, what kind of stories you tell better and where you need improvement. This analysis of your strengths and weaknesses is essential to fill in the gaps and improve skills.
Additionally, if you’ve already released a book or a series you can always try to write a sequel or a spin-off for the same. Enhance the world which already exists in your books and introduce new characters. But, never stop writing.
Build a Community
To become successful, you need an audience. Preferably, a community of like-minded people, people who enjoy what you do. You can always start small. Try joining Facebook groups for writers and meet new people, discuss ideas and promote your work. While this might seem like a soft marketing tactic on the surface, it is quite beneficial.
A community is not just essential to spread the word but to also receive constructive feedback. Surrounding yourself with a group of writers can even help you sustain the habit of writing everyday. Most importantly, however, having a community can provide you with much needed motivation, the absence of which can often make writers feel alienated and uninspirational.
Evolve and Grow
Thirdly, for every writer, it is most important to keep an open mind. Be open to changes, take criticism like a sportsman and don’t take anything to the heart. For success, it is a prerequisite that any creator ensures their content is never stagnant and that what they create stands for something, speaks to people.
Evolution doesn’t necessarily have to be in the way you write. It can also be about what you write. Perhaps, somewhere along the way you realize that the ideas and problems you were addressing a few years back are no longer relevant to you. No longer personal and that there are newer issues, newer observations you wish to focus upon. Don’t be afraid to take that leap. While, initially it might be intimidating, always remember it is works that come from a place of utmost care and delicacy that eventually win over people.
Something else to keep in mind is that sometimes, we need to be critical of ourselves too. Sometimes, as a writer you may find yourself at the receiving end of harsh criticism, be it regarding your writing or your approach towards a sensitive subject. In such circumstances, it is always better to look inwards and address some biases you might have unconsciously harbored.
Market, Market and Market
Lastly, marketing. Success has sometimes, not always but in more than enough instances, largely relied on good marketing. Readers should know that your book exists out there in order for them to read it, which is where marketing comes into play. Nowadays, marketing books don’t stop at posters and release dates. Instead, marketing in itself is an art form, contemporary and ever-growing.
Don’t worry, marketing in this day and age does not require a full-fledged team. Instead, social media is a great way for anyone to establish a social presence and communicate with the masses. It may take a little while to get used to the interface if you’re new to it, but in general, you’ll get the hang of it quite easily.
For efficient marketing don’t just focus on the release dates and basic information. Instead focus on new trends, engage with your target audience, hold liveand Q&A sessions. Experiment with your content and posts and see what works best. Many readers, who also aspire to be a writer, may look upto you for writing advice and may even want to get a sneak-peek into your writing process. Social media is the best way to do that!
For more information check out our blogs related to marketing and social media.
Being successful comes with time and experience. Not everyone is a one-hit-wonder. Rarely anyone is. In the 21st century, where we’re all preoccupied with work and nothing ever stays for too long, being memorialized is no easy task. With hundreds and thousands of books being published annually, standing out requires a great deal of credibility, effort and perhaps, even a dash of luck. But, don’t get disheartened early on. It is skill and determination that prevails in the end.