“If you will it, they will come.”
Of course this tenet admits that none of this will happen without hard work. The books must be written and most importantly edited and proof read. An agent must be found, the agent will then sell the work to a publisher, who will promote the writer and his/her work until they reach such a peak of fame that further publicity will be virtually unnecessary.
If however this particular route remains stubbornly shut, then all is not lost. There are many writers making a good living through self-publishing their work. Blogging, tweeting, interacting on social media will all bring its rewards. Books will be sold, money will be made and in the final twist to the tail big time traditional publishers will be fighting to publish the next novel.
And all this will happen because you believe in yourself.
Or will it?
I admit that without self-belief nothing will happen. The books will remain un-written, or lurking for ever on a hard drive. Even if they are self-published only a few people, mostly friends and family will ever read them. Opportunities will be missed, chances not taken.
So what is to be done?
I have a friend who believes in The Law of Attraction. He is sure that visualising success has led to a huge increase in his business, so that he has gone from a terrible winter when he had no work coming in and did not know how he was going to pay next month’s bills, to having almost more work than he can handle.
Did chanting a mantra draw in the clients?
I must admit that I am not totally sceptical. I can see that visualising success can give a writer the confidence to send a story to an anthology, a manuscript to a publisher, approach a book-blogger, comment on a forum and all the other things needed to promote ourselves and our books.
There is, however, one important element that is beyond our control and that is luck. You can chant as hard as you like, work your socks off but if you are not lucky, you still won’t make it. There are very good writers out there who are yet to be published, who possibly will never be published and not so good writers who are best-sellers. The latter will tell you that they worked hard for their success and most probably they did, but there is a strong chance that there was an element of luck in what happened for them.
To quote comedian, Romesh Ranganathan, the The Guardian “All those people who tell you how they willed their success into reality are beneficiaries of luck. I would not have succeeded as a comedian had I not had some hugely lucky breaks.”
Is this then a cause for despair for those of us that haven’t yet made thousands, let alone millions from our writing, or who maybe haven’t made any money at all?
There are things you can do to increase your chances of being lucky. Hard work and net-working are some of these− Romesh attributes his success to the support of fellow comedian Sean Walsh. So is saying yes to anything that might lead somewhere, or even to those things that won’t. As my best friend from when I was seven says “Throw your bread on the water in the hope that it comes back as buttered toast.”
And if it doesn’t?
Most of us who write will do it anyway. It’s a love, a compulsion. It’s what keeps us going and saves us from going mad.
What I would be interested to know is if any of my fellow writers have had a lucky break, or whether it’s all been a long hard slog.
And if it hasn’t happened for you, yet, then in this year of the pig, I wish you the best of luck.