Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Writing 101: When Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off

I’ve been vocal in my belief that writing is a skill that can be learned with practice, patience and hard work. It is hard work, though many envision something far different when they first pursue the writing dream. It takes a lot of research, editing and rewriting to come up with something decent, let alone great. But here’s the secret about writing: hard work doesn’t always pay off.


Blood, Sweat and Tears

Many authors will agree that often, luck and good connections play a part in success. If you are obsessed with learning about the backstories of authors, as I am, you will see this is a thread that’s repeated often. Many authors either a) got lucky or b) knew the right people. Of course, they were also talented and hard-working writers. But it’s also true that sometimes, hard work alone just isn’t enough.

Writing is tricky, and no one has really figured out what people will respond to and what they won’t. Many people were surprised by the runaway success of books like Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight, for example -- even the authors. Readers are unpredictable.

That’s why sometimes, some things aren’t going to work out. Blogs fail. Books don’t sell. Jobs fall through. And even when you work your hardest and truly give something your all, it may become a dead end instead of that shining path to success you were sure it was going to be. That’s how writing is, sometimes. Even the hardest-working authors may never get on a Top Ten bestseller list, or sell a million copies.

But there is something that all successful authors and writers also have that can’t be denied: perseverance. So when one path doesn’t work out, turn around and go find yourself another. Open windows when doors close. Get more creative, get a little more bold, get back to writing and try something different this time. Because hard work doesn’t always pay off...but not working enough never will.

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