I posted over at the Electric Spec blog, if you're interested in "making the cut. "
JA Konrath, author and tireless supporter of Newbie Writers, has written a great post on how the "artistic anguish" is bullshit.
I couldn't agree more. A writer is an entertainer, no better or worse than some stripper on Bourbon Street (except we're not as well paid). The stripper has to take off her clothes and act sexy, even when she feels icky.
A successful writer has to do two things:
Write. This means sitting at your desk and treating it like the job it is. Your brain is a muscle; use it. If you can only write once a week, then do it. Many selling authors operate this way. But don't whine or make excuses. That's for wannabes.
Be a writer. You must be who your adoring fans want. Like it or not, we writers have a mystique, so play it. I don't mean get all angsty or puffed-up. I mean that writers are entertainers, so act like one. Be who they want you to be. Smile on cue. Without readership, a writer is nothing. They are the single most important asset a writer has.
A few other tidbits I've been thinking about:
Dress like an entertainer. I don't wear sweats to conferences, but I don't wear business suits, either. I dress to get attention, to illicit reaction. It's not always fun. Actually, it feels like holding your stomach in after a big meal. But I do it because it's good for career building. I hang out in the bar, even if I don't feel like drinking. (Hey, it could happen.) I smile and force the charm, even when I'm tired. I try to be someone fans want to approach, to be seen with. Even better, I want to be someone famous people want to hang out with. Or agents...
A little eccentricity goes a long way. You're interesting, eccentric, a friend told me recently. You're a writer.
HA! Right now I'm in my jammies, on the wrong end of a shower, the kitchen looking like two kids and a dog had breakfast in it, wet clothes growing mold in the washer, just about ready to open my laptop and pound away at a story that is not coming easily. If this is eccentric, then I'm not impressed. I'm a geek, with a slab of immaturity on the side.
Eccentric writers are boring and annoying. Don't be that writer.