Quote of the Day: It’s not enough to wish, dream, hope. Even children know this. We must set sail into the sea of uncertainty. We must meet fear face-to-face. We must take our dreams as maps for a greater journey. Dreams, to come true, need a good story. So go live one! ― Vironika Tugaleva
Today’s post is for the Insecure Writers Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of each month about our hopes, fears, and longings in our creative journey. Today, I am also a co-host, meaning that I have a group of bloggers assigned to me to encourage. I am excited to meet them, and you. Thanks for stopping by. To find out more about IWSG, visit their website, or go to the blog of the founder and Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh. (It may take me through this coming weekend to return visits and comments. Happy IWSG day!) We also have an IWSG Facebook page. The other co-hosts are: Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, and Christine Rains. Thanks, everyone!
I was visiting with my friend Krista Rolfzen Soukup who is a Book Marketing Consultant at Blue Cottage Agency. She said that a frustration of hers is that authors will contact her, hoping desperately that she will wave her magic wand and make their publishing dreams come true. They seem to want to turn over the work to her. She explains to them that she can help them with publicity, give them suggestions, and make connections. What she can’t do is make miracles happen. “Some authors want me to pick up their dreams and carry them,” forgetting that they need to do the heavy lifting on their own behalf. Number one, create a great product. You must write the story, edit the story, have beta readers help you with plot and more editing, then hire a professional editor to make it even better. A Marketing Consultant helps you develop a plan for getting your
product noticed. It takes work to make our dreams come true. And, when we begin to falter, and most of us will, we need to have our support team in place to help us refocus. If I didn’t have my support crew waiting in the wings for me, I’d never have completed my play, cast it, and produced it. I wouldn’t be teaching theater classes for kids, and I sure
wouldn’t be creating more stories. It’s hard. You have to work through the muck. You have to celebrate successes, large and small, and you have to believe in yourself.
You can do it, my fellow insecure creatives. Live the life you’ve been dreaming about.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Write out what your success looks like. Describe a day in the life of you living out your dream.
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Love the idea of writing down what our success would look like. Identifying exactly what we hope to achieve should help us take the steps to reaching that goal.
Thanks. It helps to spell it out and visualize it.
Love that quote 🙂
What an inspiring post and a good reminder.
Well said. It’s our dream. Others can help, but it’s still our responsibility.
Thanks for co-hosting today!
Thank you, Alex
Yay! It’s so true. Any major dream takes hard work, and more hard work. The key is not to buckle under the weight, or know where to go for a good massage and wedge of cheese when you need to slough it off for a time. =)
I need a good massage and wedge of cheese right about now.
Love the quote at the top. Great advice and tips for new writers like me.
What do agents do if they don’t, read the manuscript, suggest edits, plan selling campaigns. Is knowing which publishers to approach because they accept agents enough?
There is so much to sift through. The agents and publicists can help give us focus.
Your friend is correct – we writers just want to write – so handing everything over to a marketing person and getting them to turn us into a global best seller is a dream. Promo the time suck of life.
It certainly can be frustrating. We all want a strong hand to help us.
I can understand the authors who want to shut out the world and create forever (because I’m one of them). But you are right. If we want people to read our work, we have to get out there and sell our stuff. Somehow.
It takes work. And, I know, it’s hard for many introverted authors to be in the public. But, you can do things from home, blogs, social media, too.
I just love this. Thank you so much. These are my exact sentiments also. And thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
Marvelous post with great advice! 🙂 It’s a pleasure to co-host with you this month.
I love that quote. I agree with Krista that writers should do the heavy lifting on their own behalf and not leave it on other people!
In this day and age, you have to.
I like that idea about your team. What do you do to create your team? What do they do for you? Is it just encouragement or do they work like a street team helping in actual promotion and stuff?
Great advice and post, Thanks for co-hosting.
Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
That FB thing is confusing.
Hi Juneta, sorry about the confusion. You can comment either way. I think your team can do all the things you mentioned. Some people will be there for you, but they’re not writers. Other people help with the leg work and promotion. Heck, someone can simply carry that box of books to your next signing!
Writing is hard work and so its following through to make your dreams come true. Others may help, but no one can do that for us.
So true, Jean.
Yes, it does take long and hard work.
Great advice. I think that many writers might assume that once they write the book, the work is over. If only it were that easy!
Nope. We have to still keep working and putting ourselves out there.
Very true, no one can do the work for us–marketing folks just show off what we’ve done to the masses. We still have to create the product.
That’s right. They can’t promote what we don’t produce.
Online writers have been such a huge help for my encouragement. Thanks for co-hosting!
I agree. Thank you, Deb!
Thanks for the inspiration, Mary. You’re absolutely right. Thanks for co-hosting.
Wow! What a fantastic post. Thank you so much. The reality of writing is often lost on those who think “anyone can write” or, “If this book got published, I can do better than that.” It is a long and sometimes lonely road. But you are right. Gotta keep on keepin’ on and see where the road leads…Thanks for co-hosting!
Very true. A lot of the times, I wish someone else would take the marketing reigns and do the footwork for me. But it requires hard work on the author’s part to get it off the ground.
Great post, and thanks for co-hosting!
Yes, Loni. We have to roll up our own sleeves.
I’m finding you need to be your own champion first!
So true, Stephanie.
“Go. Create. Inspire!” Thank you!
My three favorite words.
It takes hard work and commitment but it is possible to make your dreams take flight. A lovely, inspirational post.
Thanks for being one of our fabulous co-hosts today.
Thank you for your awesome words and great example to steer the course. It is definitely a dream not for the faint-hearted, but I love it! Erika
Stay strong, Erika!
I certainly believe we have to do our own heavy lifting. Primarily the writing and editing. If we fail to do these first simple (okay, hard really) can we truly say the work is our own? Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.
Words to live by, Jeffery.
Working through the muck is hard sometimes, but you’re so right that by celebrating large and small successes and having a wonderful support group in place we can accomplish whatever we set out to do! Thanks for the great post!
Thanks, Kathy. I couldn’t do it without my supporters.
It’s a great idea to visualize our success. Visualizing our goals makes us capable of narrowing our focus so they become attainable. Thank you for reminding me.
Thank you, Eliza. Happy writing!
So right. If the product isn’t good, if the author isn’t willing to work like the devil before and after publication, success is only a dream. Great job co-hosting today!
Thanks, C. Lee! It’s been fun.
Writing the book is the easy part. It’s everything after that’s hard.
True words, CD
Thanks for such an inspirational post, Mary. Writing and marketing require a different skill set and writers aren’t generally a natural in the marketing field. It is scary and way out of a writer’s comfort zone. I’ve spent the past 4 months planning a marketing strategy (well trying to get my head around it is probably more accurate. It is a lot to learn but can me fun too. Thanks for co-hosting.
I’m glad you see it as something you can learn, and found a little fun in it, too.
Hey–thanks for co-hosting. I don’t mind the idea of doing promo for my work–increasingly, it’s on the author to do so–but it’s the balancing act of promoting and writing the next thing that can get to be a lot. But still, I formatted my novella for ebook because I wanted to save money/learn how to do it. I asked a few friends if they’d feature me on their blogs to dip a toe into the promotion waters. The days of being a hermit writer are gone.
That’s for sure, Michelle. Luckily, we have the internet and groups like IWSG to help promote our work and create a network.
Love your quote. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
I wish there was a magic wand to make miracles happen, but alas, there’s not, so hard work it is.
I know. I’m still looking for my magic wand, too.
Oh what true words these are! I cannot thank you enough for your support and will be there for you!
Thank you for co-hosting!
I have to admit, your post here has my jaw sagging. I started writing a long time ago. When I realized that the market was saturated, and agents / editors / publishers were swamped with unwanted submissions, I turned to self-publishing, where I enjoy fiction writing for the fun of writing without dreams of getting rich. This is the first I’ve heard that they now expect writers to hire professional editors prior to publication, and marketing consultants. Wow, times have changed. I’ll stay with my low-budget options. Thanks for an eye-opening post.
Thanks, Linda. Glad you found a way to share your work and feel successful.
In many ways, I’m living the dream I desired for as long as I can remember. To communicate with the world. At the time, no one had heard of computers, internet, etc. Today,
I have a website and post stories about my life living on a sailboat in Mexico (http://la-vita.us/). My stories can be read around the world. My only limitation is me and how well I can write.
Is life easy, nope. Setback from left field, seem to appear more frequently than to others I know, but what the heck that’s life, right?
Your life is fascinating. Of course, it is hard, both physically and emotionally. Thank you for sharing your stories and adventures with the world.
Nicely put and thank you. I needed to hear this. 🙂
Anna from elements of emaginette
This is an interesting comment: We must meet fear face-to-face.
Because so many of us writers fear rejection, especially in the marketing arena, this is the fear needing the most face time. So easy to say (or type.)
Thank you for co-hosting the March IWSG, Mary.
Thanks, Gail. It can be daunting, but there are people to help you sort through it all.
Your posts are always colorful and so inspiring! Thank you, Mary.
It’s hard work – all the way! But hard work never killed anybody…that’s what I tell my learners – every day.
Thanks too, for co-hosting the IWSG this month!
Thanks, Michelle. I’m a teacher, too, and know how it is to tell someone, one more time, it takes time and practice.
I’ve encountered many beginning writers who have this fantasy of what the it means to publish. They see books like 50 Shades of Grey and Harry Potter and think, “If I write one really great story, a publisher will publish it and I will make millions.” Then I come along and tell them how it actually works, but they then dislike me for squashing their fantasy.
I would let Darwin win out, but I want to help people know how they can be writers by letting them know the challenges they face.
That is so true, Christopher. You have to pop the fantasy bubble, but when you do, they can get to the real work and create something that people will want to read, and they will find success. Thanks for your comment!
I don’t think anyone who is not a writer appreciates how much effort and persistence is required. I often wonder how many writers give up at the first sign of a speed bump. Yes, a loyal support group is so important. And passion. Without passion, failure is almost a certainty.
So, true, Feather Stone.
I’m sure some do give up. But, I hope most stick it out to find some success.
A magic wand would be nice though.
There’s no magic wand for anything. Things that are worth doing take a lot of work, although having supportive people in your corner makes things easier.
Hello Mary. Lovely inspiring post. I recently was pondering how to make the most of my writing day, always finding there were so many demands on my time that writing takes a back seat. Then I read something along the lines of–‘we all have the same amount of hours in the day. Successful people have learned how to make the most of every hour.’
Exactly! Very well said. Making dreams come true is a ton of work, but it can be done. I’m living proof. I achieved my dream of becoming a published author, and now I’m expanding on that by publishing a second book. Persevere and press onward.
Love your quote of the day!
Thanks for co-hosting!
I really appreciate how you spell out what book marketers and promoters actually do. It is important to remember that the key point is to write as well as you can.
Great post for this month’s IWSG!
Words of truth Mary. You are so right. It is so hard and you have to keep going and make it your success. The writing is the easy part but as someone said to me. “You have a cow but it is useless unless you milk the cow.” The milking is hard work but it’s worth it in the end especially when you see all the milk 🙂
Thanks for all you do x
You’re doing a great job of milking the cow, Julie! Great analogy. Keep writing. Your stories are important.
This is a timely reminder for me, Mary. I let the setbacks rough me up a bit this past month, but I’ve got new determination to persevere.
One of my writer friends told me something that really helped. When I asked her how she dealt with the hard things–the painful rejections, etc., she said, “I just remember that this is my dream. And I’m not going to let anyone out there keep me from living it.”
Holli, You have the skill and determination to soldier through this setback. You’ll come out stronger, and your stories will have even more depth.
Thank you, Mary. You’re a beautiful person. So glad to know you, if only online.
Thanks for co-hosting this month. I really appreciate that quote up top. It’s encouraging. I often dream of what my success looks like, but you’re right- others may help but it’s our responsibility to make it happen.
Oy, dreams. I just have so darn many of them 😛
You are certainly right that there are no magic wands in this business. Congratulations on your success.
Great advice. That heavy lifting can be intimidating though.
Yes. Literally (snow) and figuratively (creating).
Great post! Thank you, and I agree that finding/creating a solid support group is a critical element all writers need. Doing so drastically improves the odds that we’ll succeed. Especially in today’s cultural climate, where creativity is so undervalued. Creatives unite!!
Yes, Kathy. Cheers! I need to get to that Playwrights’ Center, soon!!!
Fantastic words of wisdom. It reminds me of a sign my hairdresser has by her chair, “I’m not a miracle worker, I’m a hairstylist.” It makes me laugh every time I see it. Thanks for co-hosting!
My pleasure, Elsie. We all try our best, but miracles rarely happen without divine intervention!
I feel that way–that I want someone to carry my dream for me. And that’s probably why I haven’t hired a marketing consultant. I’m doing about as much as I can so I would waste their good ideas. Even so, I know there’s so much I’m missing.
We all want help achieving our dreams. The marketing consultant could offer some advice and make it less daunting. My good friend, Krista at Blue Cottage Agency, is phenomenal at this.
Wise and encouraging words, Mary. I think most writers work hard and are hard on themselves. I, for one, know I should be celebrating more, but I find it only worthwhile when a big project is finished. Which has not happened yet, unless you count the first draft of my memoir. Unfortunately, it is about twice as long as it should be and the editing process is daunting!
Part of your quote (“We must set sail into the sea of uncertainty.”) rings very true for me, since that is exactly what my memoir is about: literally setting sail into the unknown. This month, for the IWSG, I have added an excerpt of my book (yes, it takes place on the ocean) to my post. 🙂
Thanks for co-hosting!
Let us sail our ships to distant shores!
Great advice. There is so much work a writer needs to do before trying to publish. No one else can do the basics for us. But oh, what a journey it can be! Thanks for the inspiration and for co-hosting today.
I’ve had people wanting me to make miracles for them too, and that’s when I learned, I don’t do well working for others in the book business.
Thanks for co-hosting!
That can be hard. Thanks.
A great and inspiring pep talk. Happy to meet you. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG. Have a lovely day.
Fantastic post. Yes, first start with a great product. From there it never stops. The author’s life is an uphill battle. Give me my sword! 🙂
Inspiring post. It’s good to narrow down you’re goals. Thank you for co-hosting!
I agree. We need an entire team of people to help us reach our goals. Too many authors do nothing more than push the “publish” button and then don’t understand why their novels aren’t selling. Marketing is so important to publishing. No one becomes a success alone.
Hello, dear lady. SO TRUE. We must carry our own dreams and do the work. Great message!
Love hearing from you, Journaling Woman. Yes, carry on, warriors!
This is so inspiring! And I love the analogy of a ship sailing to our dreams. I suppose that would make our support group our “crew”. I love it! Thanks so much for this little push away from the shore 🙂
It’s nice to have a support network, but I really don’t. As I write in my post today, I’m not much of a “social butterfly” and I’m tired of being hateful towards myself for my inability to become one. So I am accepting myself as a crusty caterpillar.
Hi Caterpillar. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I wish you the best.
Yes, I wish there were buttons to push to instantly market our books. It is a lot of work and I don’t believe writers who complete a novel realize they aren’t done once it’s published. So much networking and time away from writing. Great advice. I watched some of the theatre’s production of the Diary of Anne Frank. How creative to place it on ZOOM. My grandson’s high school drama group could not perform their spring play due to Covid 19. He is a freshman, so he has opportunities ahead. He felt so bad for the seniors who could not perform their last play at high school. The ZOOM idea would have been perfect. I’ll send him the link to the production for future plays–hopefully not necessary.
Thanks, JQ. The zoom dramatization was brilliant.
Great quotation & very apt indeed! Something I’ve learned about through writing communities & this wonderful group is that the publishing world is not the thing we dreamed of where magic happens. It’s hard word, no different to any other career or workplace. Thanks muchly for co-hosting 🙂
Thanks, Debs. It’s a great writing community.
You’re so right! We do have to do the heavy-lifting. Thank goodness for friends within the writing community to help us out!