I went to Borders the other day and the truth sunk in — Thousands upon thousands of books stacked up. How will mine ever get found? When I finish it, find an agent, and publish it, of course.
One word: Networking.
I had the misconception that writing was a solo career. On the contrary, the more people you interact with, the more chances you have at success. People, like me, constantly compare each other with renowned authors, and try hard to discover their formula. The truth is, there is none.
Sure, there are tons of resourceful books, and websites on how to become a polished writer, but no one will guarantee your success. You have to guarantee your own success, and even if you fail numerous times, never give up. How bad do you want it?
I used to have a social media phobia. When I saw the movie Wall-e, I thought “Great. This is the future of humanity. A lot of sickly, detached beings.” After countless hours of researching on how to become a published author, reading blogs written by literary agents, purchasing books on how to hone the craft of writing, and many other things, most people agreed on the premise that every writer needs to build their readership. “Oh, but J.K. Rowling didn’t do that.” “What about Stephenie Meyer?” Quoting the words of the awesome Chuck Sambuchino, quoting the coolest guy on Earth, Greg Behrendt: “You are the rule. Not the exception.”
I decided to put myself out there. I have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, a Nerdfighters account, really silly videos on Youtube, an Inkpop account, an Authonomy account… wow, I did over come my social media phobia pretty quickly.
My point is, if you want to be a published author, or simply a writer, you will always need a readership. As a reader, I love interacting with authors, and reading their latest comments/posts. It is even better if they answer their e-mails/comments, and show some love. Everyone wants to feel important. People are the ones who make or break you in the end. They decide to give you a chance or not. In a world now linked through all sorts of media, as a writer, I discovered that squeezing myself through every corner, eventually pays off.
[UPDATE: Social networking does not exclude great writing. You can have all the followers in the world, and if you don’t hone your craft… (insert ending here)