I love watching dance movies. Whether it is ballet, or hip hop, I simply love them. Why? Because the hero must endure. They must work hard, practice, face the challenges, keep struggling and then in the end – they succeed! They give the best performance of their life and win! It’s a feel-good moment that makes me smile. (There’s not enough of that in this world…)
The reason I bring this up is because I’m an author, and I frequent chat rooms and groups of other authors always asking for the trick to success. They say, “I’ve published a book but I’m not getting the sales, what is a cheap easy way to accomplish this?” and then they sit there and wait for the answer to fall in their lap.
If Baby, from Dirty Dancing waited for the steps to happen without the practice, that final dance would not have been possible. If there wouldn’t have been hard work, and classes and persistence and effort put into any of those dance stories, that grand award would not have been theirs.
The same can be true of writing a book.
First, you need the classes, you need to learn the steps to achieve that amazing movement. You need to write, edit, get critiqued and hone your skill of storytelling. (Before you publish your story.)
Second you can publish, but the question is, do you want to debut your finely crafted art at a school dance (self-publish) or is your big move worth more than that? Is it worth jumping through all of the hoops and paying the admission fee to traditionally publish, find an agent and get it in front of the masses? …And if that fails (not from a lack of trying) then you move to step 3 (self-publish and MARKET it).
Third, you take your published manuscript and you market the heck out of it. You give it away for free reviews (show it to some important judges who open doors to advance you higher in the trials). You enter it into contests (yes, they cost money, but if it wins, the rewards are huge). You spend time and effort talking about it, posting it, sharing it. You travel the area showing it to the masses (book signings, tradeshows, etc.) and you keep promoting it until you can’t promote any longer. Until your toes are blistered and those pretty little ballet shoes hurt – and then do you know what they do?
They put a Band-Aid on their boo-boo’s, strap on those shoes and keep going!
Because this is it – your craft – your gift – your talent!
You’ve put in the time and effort, you’ve honed your skill, written the best dance you could and need others to see it so you can reap the benefits of a contract with the national ballet (enter your final goal here).
It is not easy, it’s not supposed to be – but it WILL be worth it in the end. It will be one of those moments that put a smile on your face.