I started a writing/marketing course last week called "Author Training 101." It's not about how to write, but how to finish a writing project; how to write a book proposal; how to write a business plan; how to promote your work; and how to be a bulldog about getting published.
I need to know all these things
because I've been dragging my feet on my WIP (work in progress) for three years. I have no
idea how to write a book proposal or a business plan. I hate self-promotion. And I've never been a bulldog about anything.
the most challenging course I've ever taken (excluding all college math
courses.) It's difficult because it's forcing me out of my comfort
zone - which, of course, is always uncomfortable and scary. Comfort
zones are aptly named, aren't they?
I'm only in week two of this course, and I'm struggling with the homework. I have to answer questions like:
Is my current project unique?
If I were a publisher, would I invest money in my project?
Am I tenacious enough to do whatever it takes to get published?
don't know. I don't know. And I don't know. I never concretely
thought about these things. I ended up saying, yes, I think so, and
what does whatever-it-takes mean? Go into debt? Change all the things I love about my project? I still don't know.
This course is taught by Nina Amir, whom you can check out HERE.
She's direct and talented and I'm impressed with her knowledge. I'm
going to learn so much from this eight-week course. I'm afraid I might
learn I don't have what it takes to get published.
There, I said it.
my fear. That I don't have the tenacity, the will, the never-give-up
attitude that is necessary to get published. Some things in life aren't
worth killing yourself over.
Nina also asks her students these things:
How do you handle rejection? (bums me out)
Are you generally optimistic? (depends)
Are you objective about your work? (probably not)
I have a long way to go.
then said something that really hit me. "Getting your book published
is not about you. It's about your reader." Hmmm. The heart-and-soul
work that is going into my book is probably not going to be recognized
by the reader. The reader is looking for connection to her heart and soul.
is a shift in thinking for me. For readers to spend their hard-earned
money on my book, they must be engaged and inspired within a minute of
skimming its pages in Barnes and Noble (a girl can dream.) My love for it doesn't necessarily transfer into sales.
This was hard to hear, although, upon further thought, I know it's true. I
don't buy a book if it doesn't speak to me on some level. This course
is helping me understand the realities of publishing and selling and
convincing the world my work is a worthy investment.
I told you this is a challenging course.
I'm sticking with it, and I'm going to ruminate on all the questions
and dig deep and see what I'm made of, find the bulldog inside. Because
getting my book published is what I want to do. With God's grace and
direction, I will succeed.
It might be difficult, but things of value always are. In the movie A League of Their Own Gina Davis tells Tom Hanks she's quitting baseball because it's too hard.
"Of course it's hard," he replies emphatically. "If it was easy, everybody would do it."