aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

The path to success

I've been reading The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises, and really enjoying it.

One thing I especially liked was this:

It is, I believe, a diagram of a realistic path to success.

From the bottom up
At the bottom are people who "want to" write, maybe write a very little, but abandon it and don't move on to the next level.

Next up are people who are trying to learn something about writing, through books, conferences, classes, critique groups.

And some from that group will actually finish their novels.

And while they try to find a publisher for that finished novel, they start a new one (or ones), because most people don't have their first novels published. (For me, it was my fourth book. It sold in three days. It was like a seven-year, overnight success.)

If they persevere, if they keep learning, keep writing, then eventually they get published.

And if keep at it, they are multi-published. (Are there times when your career might seem dead, when you can't get anyone to bite, even after you are published? For me, yes, there have been times. But I always figured the only one who could take me out of the game was me.)

And James Bell's diagram shows that having a breakout hit is not something you can really control. Every now and then the Ferris wheel dips down and picks you up and carries you off. I had that happen last year when Lis Wiehl's and my first book together showed up on the NY Times bestseller list.

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Tags: success
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