I knew it the moment I said I wanted to write books forever — becoming an author would be one of my most incredible challenges. Creatives who want to do more than just create but to actually master their crafts may feel highly dissatisfied with their work until they perfect that work. A perfect story may never come but it's a thrilling adventure to complete a novel you are proud of.
So why put ourselves through this process over and over again? As an #author and #editor, it's all about loving the process and getting better at your craft as you age (hopefully). But where do you start? How about starting with a mentor? This year, I will be submitting my MG fantasy novel to Author Mentor Match. I've already encouraged my writer colleagues to join me and with this #blog hope that unpublished writers also feel motivated to do the same. If you have an unpublished, completed book ready for an agent, submit! AMM is an incredible opportunity to level up as a #writer. In the next three days, February 13-16, challenge yourself by submitting your work to be reviewed and potentially selected by a writer who's been where you are. If you're fearful of submitting your work, think of these reasons why you should submit: 1. Talented, published authors are willing to help you for free. 2. Your network will drastically expand; you'll learn more about your writing community and possibly make a few friends out of just participating. 3. Learning that fine line between "my novel sucks" and "my story has become exceptional" is vital. 4. Surprising and exceeding your own expectations with constructive criticism, a deep dive into genre, and honing in on your author voice are rewarding. 4. You don't know what you're doing and need help — and this is a great thing, really! You need help from an experienced author because, humble as you are, your work is not publishable...yet! A friend asked me the other day what I do to stay motivated with my work. More often than not, I circle back to the two biggest rules I set for myself. First, I force myself to write even when I don't want to every day. The quiddity of being a writer is writing and having the discipline to be consistent. Second, I don't know what else to do if not writing. Literally, I won't know what to do with myself since the task of revising may be daunting but not developing the story aches even more. I've learned to enjoy, even crave, the process itself. You may even notice my photo with this post includes the awesome Joey Korenman from #SchoolofMotion. My partner and I, along with our creative colleagues, met Joey at a #Beeple event just after blazing through his #book The Freelance Manifesto (which I highly recommend for anyone in any #creative field). This one night was not only an unbelievable networking opportunity but a huge rush of emotion and gratitude to meet such an inspiring person who wants artists of all sorts to succeed. As an author, you can succeed but you need the right tools. Your book will never be ready. At least I believe that to be true, even in the future when I'm gloriously skipping hand in hand with my agent and published. Until those published days (which undoubtedly require you to focus even harder) what we can do is take the opportunity to seek advice from authors who are willing to lend a hand. For now, your book can gain guidance. Think of it as a boxing match by submitting to AMM. You're in the ring and your mentor, if you're chosen, becomes the coach in your corner wiping the blood, sweat, and criticism from your face, throwing you back into the ring to fight for your #story. What do you want from your writing? What motivates your next #WIP? I want to master worlds of fantasy. To write as many inspiring, twisted, quirky tales as I can while I can. It may take a few lifetimes but at least in the next few days I can pitch myself and perhaps gain a mentor come March.