Something Helpful To Consider

I recently got two comments I’d like all of you to think about, because it’s going to help you a lot

A visual representation of the busy me. But I'm a guy.
A visual representation of the busy me. But I’m a guy.

“Writing a book is a huge challenge, but I’m beginning to think it’s the easiest part of being an indie author.”

That statement says it all. Nailed it.

It’s 100% correct – and not just an indie author. Author, period. Writing is easy for us writer types – until we are 30,000 words in and there’s a plot hole. Nonwriters – also known as normal people – don’t deal with that. For us, failure looms with every new chapter, but because we are wordsmiths, we diligently work through it. (Thank god for that delete key!)

What I still don't know yet about writing.
What I still don’t know yet about writing.

Then you get around some real writer types and see how your work is by comparison. You were the best writer in your circle of friends – until you expanded your peer group.

Big fish, meet BIGGER pond.

Then you up your game. You learn all the other stuff that you didn’t know about – marketing, promotions, Meet The Author events at bookstores, conferences, book fairs – and you master them. And that’s harder, because that’s waaaaaaaaay outside our comfort zone.

You master them, or you go back to the little pond.

And for some reason, we don’t want to do that. This writing thing became a way to push ourselves because we believe in ourselves. We don’t really share a lot of it with our families. We have setbacks, but we keep going.

When I started running, I ran as far as I could (it wasn’t very far), walked until I caught my breath, and ran some more. After a few weeks, I’d added the running segments together and was catching my breath much faster. Eventually, it became a mile long run. Then two. Then three. Then 5ks. Then a 10k. Then I stopped because running 10ks in Florida is freaking insane. It’s hot out. So I scaled back.

Anyway, I had to build my muscles up to the task. I would have died if I’d tried to run a 10k on Day 1. I didn’t even know how far 10k was. I thought it was close to 10 miles (it’s closer to six).

Well, maybe that last one...
I can do that.

Writer muscles have to be developed, too, and so do you – mentally. Bit by bit, adding and adding, until we have something that’s a more complete thing. It takes time but you’ll get there.

“You are probably the hardest working person I know, and you’re a talented writer. Your day will come.”

Thank you, and not to toot my own horn, but I think so, too – about the “your day will come” part. I’ve had successes here and there, so I consider myself like a really good minor league baseball player looking for a shot at the big leagues. Ladies, think of Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, when he’s looking at payers with talent who want to get to “the show.” Talent was required, but talent wasn’t enough. There were mental games to get over, and a learning curve for a lot of other skills.

Same here.

I still don’t know “what I don’t know,” so I forge ahead, but I’ll tell you, people like what I write. I’ve found I can make them laugh or cry. I can have them on the edge of their seat. I can get them hot and bothered. And when I had to pitch, spontaneously, in a breakout group at a recent writer’s conference, to a lady who’d been a big time New York editor for many years and worked with all kinds of agents – I saw a very positive reaction on her face.

What do I see, what do I feel? Word of mouth is spreading. You see it in odd places, like people asking to join my private critique group queue so they can read my story from the beginning, and not having almost any comments when they’re through. They heard I was good.

I feel like I’m close, or at least a lot closer than I was. My current book is far and away my best one, and my next book will be even better – whatever it is. I just know it.

And I may still be a mile away. But now I know I can run that mile.

So can you.

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He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?
He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?

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Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

12 thoughts on “Something Helpful To Consider

  1. Hey, I’ve been quoted! Twice. Pretty cool!

    You’re right, there is so much to learn, and, the more I learn, the more I want to learn. It almost becomes an obsession.

    Sometimes I start to feel like I’m in over my head. I just need to slow down and catch my breath, then I can get back to it. Just like running. I know the only way I’ll succeed is if I keep pushing myself to do better, learn more, work harder.

    Your close, Dan…so close. Poggibonsi is a great story. I love it, and I can’t wait to see what happens when it hits the shelves!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great advice, and funny 🙂
    Reminders like this are a great kick in the *blank* to keep on trucking.
    Plot holes happen to all of us. Working through those setbacks, and aligning with the big fish who will help you past them is the game changer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of friends who helped me, so I’m happy to help others – and to hook them up with the same folks.

      I also pushed those friends and myself by asking a LOT of embarrassing rookie questions, with ZERO shame, in FB forums so I could get my eyes opened and learn as fast as possible. (They took pity on me.) Seriously, though, I knew there were lots of new authors who had the same questions I had, they were just too afraid to ask, so I did, and we all learned as a result. I put up book covers I’d made and insisted they rip them to shreds publicly, telling me in detail what I was doing wrong. I didn’t mind. Much. It was a learning experience and it opened my eyes.

      I hope to save all of you from that horribly painful experience, but I’m glad I did it. The people who told me the hard truths are the most valued friends today, because they told me what I needed to hear, not just what I wanted to hear. When you know that friends are willing to upset you to get you to understand the truth, to really get it, they’re truly valuable, trusted friends.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! The people who tell us the hard truths are the ones who lead us to success. It can be tough to put ourselves out there. But, it’s so much better to find our weaknesses BEFORE publishing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots of truth here. Writing is the best part, and then there’s everything else. I think with every book we write we are always learning something new and the responses we get from our readers also fuels us in some of the tweaks and turn we take for every consequent book.


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