One of the things I love about The Art of War for Writers is James Scott Bell’s approach. He starts with the mind “because what happens in the head affects everything else.”
So at first, looking at our chapter for the week, I thought it kind of interesting that we’d be thinking about the possible what-ifs. The bad what-ifs. What if we do get accepted and then tank? Our books don’t sell like the publisher would like and we get displaced and replaced. He addresses these concerns not because he wants us to hyperventilate from worry or give up, but to prepare us for the reality of it.
“So the question becomes what to do if it happens?”
If we are prepared, then , hopefully, we won’t get caught of guard. I thought that about motherhood. Yeah, didn’t work. 🙂 But I will not give up on loving my kiddos because I mess up. I’m human but that doesn’t mean I will stop striving to be a good mom, because when I cease striving, I will truly fail. And I won’t give up on writing either. It comes down to our level of commitment. How much do you want to write? To succeed at writing and make a career out of it?
The purpose of this book is to help us prepare to become career authors, by helping us avoid mistakes, write stronger books and win the battle to get and stay published. My paraphrase.
That said, if we get published, Bell admonishes us to not to kick back and think we’ve made it to pub-land. Our journey doesn’t stop at our first book contract. We have to keep on keeping on! It’s developing the mental prowess to face whatever life throws are way and still keep going. To learn and not become stagnant. Adapt. Overcome. If the well dries up, dig another well.
So what say you? Have you thought about these what-ifs from a professional standpoint? How do you think we can prepare ourselves to face them?
Update: Check out what Rachelle Gardner says about Life as a Published Author.