“B is for bestseller.”
I’ve spent some time over the last month listening to several experts sharing their experience writing best-selling books. I figured I might as well see what wisdom resonated with me—after all, these individuals have become gurus by succeeding at selling many, many books over time. A few tips later, I’ve got cauliflower ears from listening to hours of talking heads on headset … and a new realization.
There must be a lot of people out there looking for help with starting, finishing and promoting their book. Eager people who have their hearts set on writing a bestseller—and only a bestseller. Otherwise, how could these experts be in such demand for sharing their expertise on how to be wildly successful in the book industry?
I define this compelling aspiration, this writer’s condition, as “Bestselleritis”. Symptoms can include:
- A burning desire to be on the NY Times Bestseller List
- An initial belief that bestsellers happen overnight
- An obsession with what it will be like to be famous
- Recurring conversations about writing a bestseller
- An allergy to writing
- A file folder of great story ideas
- An archive of incomplete manuscripts
- A fully booked schedule for the foreseeable future
Wisdom from people who have gone before can be helpful in dealing with this condition. I’ve learned that the following pills, although sometimes hard to swallow, can further alleviate uncomfortable symptoms.
- Be committed to writing. Trust the process and stay focused.
- Be disciplined. Do the work.
- Be humble. Admit you don’t have all the answers.
- Be willing to give up other things in life. Put aside distractions and take the small steps, day after day, that add up to success.
At the end of the day, completing and promoting this book is my responsibility—and mine alone—with or without expert help.
This blog post by Shae Hadden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.