You have a dream right? Most people do. Mine is pretty obvious I think. So I ask you, what are you doing to make your dream come true?
You know that friend who dreams of winning the lotto, but never buys a ticket? If you aren’t doing something to get yourself closer to your dream, then same thing (though you’re more likely to be hit by lightning than win lotto, fact!) Do something about your dream. Make steps toward it, even if it’s only baby steps (like writing 100 words a day).
Today I’ve been sick (won’t go into details, don’t want to gross you out), but I still managed to edit some work and send off a submission. That’s what determination does.
I’m not saying you always gotta work through the pain and illness, just that one excuse becomes another and another and before you know it you haven’t taken any steps toward your dream in a week, a month, a year… You’ve got to have determination to work through the excuses that aren’t really valid.
I had an interesting chat with my father. After he read my post regarding perhaps not entering my work in progress in the Vogel awards (due to it not being the sort of genre that usually wins) we discussed the whys and why nots and eventually started to talk about the viability of self-publishing as an option versus my desire to see my books in traditional print. Some people self-publish their first book and with good marketing make it a hit and use that popularity to entice a publisher to accept their next novel. Others have a few traditionally published novels but then have problems with publishers and decide to self-publish the rest of their works since they already have a fan-base.
Either way, with self-publishing you need to have a strong marketing ability. You need multiple platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Linkedin. It all looks like so much to do on top of writing and taking care of a child, but it’s what you need to do if you want to make it.
Of course having a supportive family like my parents and my husband makes things much easier, but the pressures of limited time, lost sleep and finances still loom, shaking their figurative fists at me. As it is I have to get up before my family to find time to maintain my website, do my blogging and write my work in progress. I stay up after my husband and child have gone to bed sometimes too just to fit in time to write. I take my opportunities wherever I can, stealing them during Xander’s naps or moments when he’s quite happy to just sit and play near my feet.
What someone who wants to get published really needs is determination. Determination to find that time and use it productively. With so much to do, be it the writing itself, marketing, platform creating or all your usual daily tasks you need to be able to find and recognise that 10 minutes that you normally may have wasted looking at things you want on ebay and instead use it to build that platform or get down a few more ideas for the next story.
Ten minutes shouldn’t be too hard to find, where can you find your first ten minutes?
Kirstie Olley is an award-winning speculative fiction author and the full-time wrangler of her children Xander and Harlequin.
Newsletter Sign Up
Sign up for my newsletter to be notified when I publish new stories and when discounts and freebies happen. You'll also score an exclusive freebie: an ecopy of my Redlitzer winning short story 'Stolen Hearts'.
Read The Troll's Toll: A Retailored Fairy Tales Novella now.
Read 'Charming' (Honorable Mention in the Writers of The Future contest Q4 2014) in Leading Edge Magazine issue 68.
Read 'Short Circuit' (finalist in the 2013 Aurealis Awards Best Fantasy Short Fiction category) in Oomph: A Little Super Goes A Long Way from Crossed Genres.
Read ‘Hanabi to Kitsune'(Fireworks and Foxes) now in Tales of the Sunrise Lands from Guardbridge Books.
Read ‘Glass Bones’ now in WARRIOR an anthology choc-full of LGBTQIA warriors all across space, time, and imagination.
Read 'Gaps' in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #63. Click the cover to buy.
Read The Beauty of the Dance(Honorable Mention in the Writers of The Future contest Q41 2015) in Myriad Lands vol 1: Around the World.
Read 'Nightfall' for free now in 18. Click the picture to decide where to download it from.
Read ‘God’s Chosen’ for free now in Darkest Depths – the Vision Writers 20th Anniversary anthology. Click the picture to decide where to download it from.
Free Story Sign-Up
Want to grab a free copy of the out-of-print, Redlitzer Writing Competition winning 'Stolen Hearts' AND get emails whenever I release new fiction and offer discounts and new freebies? Click the book to sign up for my newsletter and have it all!