It’s hard work.
I remember the first time I took the decision to be a published writer. I had heard that to do so successfully, required having a blog or website, or both. I laughed and scoffed. Me? Blog? Never gonna happen!
And besides email, facebook and twitter, what did I really know about the internet world anyway? No way would I even consider the possibility. Yes, I was subscribed to a few and enjoyed their posts immensely. But that was it. I chose to ignore and disbelieve the over 1000 posts I had read by professionals that insisted it was important.
Well of course I knew exactly what I was going to do to be a successful writer. I was going to keep working on that cute story in my manuscript that I was sure was so different and unique from any other in the world—it would blow everyone away! And no I wouldn’t need a professional editor. My sparkling talent was so rich it would shine through and dazzle everyone. And when I was done, I would send it to a publisher which with one glance wouldn’t resist publishing my work. If they thought I needed a website then, well that would be fine by me because they would set it up and run it. There, problem solved.
So I set to work on my perfect plan. Along the way as God would have it, it became the era when bloggers glossed their blogs and posts with all kinds of facts and figures. One of the first shockers I learned was that for the last three to four years, not less than 6 million manuscripts were in circulation and at least 70% were rejected without a second glance. The other 30% if they got published, at most only a quarter managed to be a success. 1% or 2%, an immense success. Competition was tight. Everyone wanted to be a writer or everyone thought they were a great writer. There was so much noise in the literary world and it kept getting louder. The literary market had started to fill up fast. If you would even have a shot at being successful, you had to be well prepped and ready. You NEVER left anything to chance. And yes, you would need an editor. Not your mother who thought everything you wrote was perfect, but a professional who wasn’t afraid to help trim off every unnecessary.
Slowly, slowly and suddenly, I realized the truth.
My belly flipped and dropped.
What in the world would I do?
Yes. Me. Blogger. That is of course, if I was serious about being a published author.
Imagine my confusion. How in the world would I begin? I didn’t know the first thing about blogging! What would I even write about? Could I even run a blog?
It became pretty clear. My dream versus bailing. I had to choose. Learn this thing. Fast. Or never dream of being published. AGAIN.
I thought of my life as a non-writing person and after one full minute was over, I said to myself, “Scratch that! Get blogging.”
Well, I can tell you it has been a fascinating experience so far, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown so much.
Truth be told, I love it. This blog is my baby. I created it. And I believe I’m doing a good job. Little hoops here, little loops there, but it’s okay. I’m still learning.
But as fascinating as I’ve discovered blogging to be, it’s been hard work getting here. Not the kind that leaves you frustrated, but the kind that when you’re done, you can step back with a smile, take a look at your work and know deep inside you that it was worth it. With each discipline I’ve learned, I find myself getting closer to what I’ve always hoped. And yes, I have found my editor, the lovely Amber Stokes. And this blogging thing, is certainly not as bad or crazy hard as it’s been made out to be. It’s the simple old hard work required to make any meaningful thing successful.
So yes. As fascinating as blogging is … it is hard work.
But it’s worth every bit of it.