This is because for these fly-by-night writers, becoming a published author is not a dream, it’s something else. Maybe it’s more of a status symbol to them, a get-rich-quick scheme, or just a way to prove something.
But for the true-to-heart writer, it’s a lot more than that. It’s a vision, a dream, an entire lifestyle—all wrapped into one.
How do you know which you are? This morning, I thought of three ways you can just … tell:
1. You can practically taste it. Whenever you think about holding that published book in your hand, seeing other people turning the pages of the novel you wrote, climbing the charts on Amazon … these are scenes you can see crystal clearly in your head. It’s hard to describe, but you can almost taste that feeling of success. Have you had a sensory experience like this?
2. You’re willing to get up early … and stay up late. The daily schedule of a novelist can be a little erratic, so it’s not for everyone. When you’re writing a novel, it’s difficult to keep normal hours. You’ll need to make time for taking walks to get your ideas together, the occasional bout of writer’s block, as well as those sudden flashes of inspiration where you’re scrambling to open up your laptop to write it all down.
FYI, this means early mornings—sometimes very early—but it can also mean staying awake into the yawn-filled hours of the night to make sure you get that scene reading just the way you want it to. Coffee helps—and don’t be shy about pouring a glass of wine—but you probably already know this.
3. You’re in it for the long haul. When it comes to life goals, like getting a degree or toning that body just in time for beach weather, most people just want to skip to the part where they have the finished product. Thinking about what they actually have to do to get there makes them shudder. But when even thinking about doing the work of writing a novel makes your heart skip a few beats, you know you’ve found a home.
When it comes to writing, you’re insatiable. You have a hunger for learning your craft. You can’t wait to lay those words down, each and every day, to tell your story. (If this sounds like you, then you probably have a lot in common with the folks who are joining us for the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge.)
If you found yourself nodding your head at each of the points I made here, welcome! You’re truly one of us.
I’m Timothy Pike, copy editor and self-publishing coach, and I’ve been in the book business since 2014. I created the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge to help authors write and publish excellent books in just one year.