A Matter of Perspective

One of the things I love about the Fictorians blog is that it offers publishing insights from every possible point of view. Still unpublished and looking for a way to break in? We’ve got you covered. Are you self-published and looking for help marketing and promoting your book? We’ve got a bunch of those. Traditionally published superstars? Check! A big goal of ours is to provide both information and inspiration for writers wherever they are on the publishing track.

Looking back over the last month of posts, I find myself humbled at how far I still have to go and encouraged that there are so many possibilities. Sometimes the publishing world can seem so daunting that it’s hard to keep going, to keep dreaming, but upon honest reflection there’s a lot of really good news mixed in with the bad; the future of publishing is brimming with promise. When I take stock, I realize that there are so many ways to capitalize. The deck may not be stacked in everyone’s favor, but when is it ever? Everyone has to face a tough uphill climb.

As fellow Fictorian Brandon Lindsay wrote on Monday, the statistics make the publishing forecast look more ominous than it really is. If it’s true that the majority of authors are going to fall on their faces, there are probably some factors playing into their failure that you can avoid.

The first factor is quality-and with the market overly flooded (the cloud), good quality is a rarer commodity than ever (silver lining). Whether you’re a prodigious talent or you dedicate yourself to learning the craft, you have a good shot of catching someone’s eye down the road; keep at it and hard work pays off. A platitude? Well, sure. But all the pros, every single one of them, agree on that score, so it has to be more than a mere platitude.

The second factor is ingenuity and perseverance. If you write a lot, constantly improving yourself and building your body of work in anticipation of a future payoff, you’re likely to be rewarded. If you write sparingly and wait around for a lucky break, chances are it’ll never come. Great success comes to those who pursue it the most doggedly. To me, it’s almost an issue of magnetism. I acknowledge that success isn’t inevitable (the world just doesn’t work like that), but it’s more than a long shot if you’re doing everything you can to secure it. Most of the pros I’ve met agree on that one, too.

And who am I to argue with the pros?

When it comes right down to it, of all the possible perspectives I could take on writing and publishing, the rosiest is the pro perspective. They’ve already made it, so they can look back at their careers knowing that all its various components ended in success. If you know that your story ends with success, that makes success inevitable. Well, I’m not there yet, but just for a minute let’s pretend that I am; for now, I choose to view success as inevitable, to see the end of my career from its beginning.

From this perspective, the road forward doesn’t look so bad at all.

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