Hullo, and welcome to Part One of a new series I’m writing for Fiction Friday! This series was inspired by The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir. I picked up a copy from my local library and it has really helped me focus on what’s important when it comes to writing.
This series is a bit experimental. What I’m going to be doing is cataloguing my progress as I work through the book, as well as sharing tidbits of insight I think would help others who write. So, it’s kind of like a way to motivate myself to finish, and to gain the correct attitude when it comes to writing.
So here we go!
WHAT IS AUTHOR ATTITUDE?
According to The Author Training Manual, an Author Attitude is putting yourself in the mindset that you want to be a successful author, and not just a published author. How you define success is up to you. It’s knowing the cold, hard facts of the publishing industry and having the will to push on and keep going, even after you hold your book in your hands (whether electronically or physically).
The author, Nina Amir, created this fun little acronym—WOOT: Willingness, Optimism, Objectivity, and Tenacity. She says that you have to have the “willingness to change and grow”, “positive thinking” or optimism, the ability to “see yourself and your work objectively”, and “you have to be willing to do whatever it takes for however long it takes to reach your goal”. That is what the Author Attitude is.
I’m a pessimist. Not a realist, because I always have high expectations. If I was a realist, I wouldn’t be so much a pessimist. Optimism has always been hard for me to achieve. I’ve been disappointed so many times, and have disappointed myself so many times, that living up to my own expectations his hard, and it’s hard to see the optimistic side of things.
Optimism is the number one thing I need to work on to reach the full aptitude of the Author Attitude. Because without optimism, you can’t get very far.
CREATE A PLAN
After you define what success is, and you realize your goals, the next step in Step #01 of The Author Training Manual is to create a plan. A long-term plan that will get you where you want/need to be. For example, my goal is to get my work in progress, SD (title to be revealed later), traditionally published by December 31st of 2021. That is my primary goal.
The book then tells you to break down your goal into smaller goals, or signposts, to better realize your goal. Here is what I came up with.
- Finish editing Part Two of SD by February 29th, 2020
- Finish creating synopsis & query letter for the 2020 Fire Awards by March 21st, 2020
- Submit first ten pages, synopsis, and query letter of SD to the 2020 Fire Awards by March 27th, 2020
Setting these goals, creating these plans, better realizes my one main goal—to become a published, and successful, author.
CREATE A VISION OF SUCCESS
The next step is to “create a vision of your destination—your goal.” This will help us stay motivated and help us achieve our goals. This is when we write down what we think success as an author looks like. This is what I wrote.
To me, success is making the bestseller list. Earning awards like the Christy Award or the Nebula Award. Success is earning $5,000-$10,000 a month for my books. Having millions of readers and hardcore fans. But the biggest success of all is someone telling me that my novel helped them in some way or another. That is the greatest success an author could have.
Success could mean something different to everyone. It could mean being like J. K. Rowling and having films made for your ever-popular children’s book series, or it could mean helping at least one person achieve greatness in their own lives. What success means is up to you.
WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO SACRIFICE?
The last step of Step #01 is, what are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to put aside to make more time to write, to promote, to achieve your goal? This includes not only writing your novel and finding someone to publish it/finding a way to self-publish, but also includes promoting through social media, magazines, ads. Because everything you do helps your book grow and get into the hands of the people you want to read your book.
For me, I’ve already given up a lot to pursue my writing career. But there are still more things that take up my time that I could give up. For example:
- Cut back on reading
- Watch videos only on weekends (I don’t have cable or Netflix, so TV isn’t an issue)
- Get up thirty minutes earlier
A lot of what authors do, and need to do, require sacrifice in many areas. But in the end, it is all worth it, especially when you reach your final goal.
Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope it gave you a little bit of insight into the author life, and maybe helped you in some way with your own writing journey. Next week, I will be detailing Step #02 of The Author Training Manual and my progress into achieving my goal—becoming a successful author.