The Places You'll Go, If You Really Want To
Um…I hemmed and hawed.
I love grand adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand. Plus, I’d have my own personal tour guide, one I could even boss around.
But it’s…well, it’s New Zealand. Three thousand miles away. Over all that water.
And I hate the idea of flying over all that water. To be honest, I’m not very keen on flying over land, either.
My friend shrugged. “Take a sleeping pill for the flight and go,” she said, “if you really want to.”
If you really want to…a simple enough phrase. But it was packed with far more application than a trip to New Zealand.
I’d been reading Nina Amir’s, The Author Training Manual, and thinking about my writing career. Specifically, I’d been pondering what I’m willing to do, if I really want to succeed.
Would I hop on a plane and head to a venue to sell books because my publisher thought I needed to go? Is my writing career worth facing my extreme fear of flying?
Maybe I wouldn’t have to fly all over creation. Maybe I could just go by car all over the Southeast, scheduling classroom visits and attending book fairs. But I have a terrible sense of direction. Left to my own driving instincts, I could end up in Mexico instead of Mississippi. Is my writing career really worth hours on the road, driving around in circles?
Maybe I could just go to my kitchen (in my pj’s!) and do Skype visits. That’s the kind of marketing that would be squarely in my comfort zone.
It might be putting the cart before the horse, considering the marketing pros and cons of a book that hasn’t sold yet. But I think it’s worth a little bit of pondering, to consider my writing willingness factor. If I really want to make a go with traditional publishing, how far am I willing to go?
For me, that means thinking about how I’d market a book. Your willingness factor might be completely different. It might be whether you can go and speak in front of crowds of people, or if you’ll go from sitting in front of a TV to sitting in front of a laptop to write, or whether you’ll go and spend the necessary money on editing or other means to improve your craft.
It all comes down to the same concept, whether you’re pondering a trip to New Zealand or your wished-for success as a writer: how far you will go depends on how much you really want to.
~Cathy C. Hall
Photo courtesy of Joey Hall