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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In my head, I'm a best-selling author: How pretending will motivate you

My first novel sold 20 million copies. It was on the New York Times best seller list for nearly a year where it was number 1 for four months. It was critically acclaimed and solidified my place in the halls of the greatest wordsmiths in history.

At least, it will do all those things. Eventually. When I actually finish writing it, of course. 

But in my head, the book is already a success, and therefore I am already a success. And it's that envisioning of what great things my book will do that propels my writing forward. 

See, as I've said before, the odds that my book will actually be published and sell well are slim. The writing world is a very tough market where only a scant percentage of fledgling writers ever gain any sort of headway. To be a successful writer is akin to winning the lottery. 

If you dwell on what your chances of having your book published are, you will ponder yourself into a depressing pit of writer's block, eventually asking yourself, "What's the point?"

But if you maintain that you are already published and currently stomping your way through Barnes and Nobles as you greet your adoring public, your attitude remains conducive to effective story writing. 

Some would argue that to keep your hopes so high is accomplishing nothing more than setting yourself up for a huge letdown. I disagree. 

At the end of your final draft, when every comma is placed and every typo corrected, what do you have?

You have a completed book. That you wrote. Who around you can say that? Even if you never sell a copy, you completed what you set out to do. Some would say that is its own reward. 

I'd still like my name in the Times, though. And make sure you spell my name write. It's John, not Jon. 

Until next time, keep those keyboard warm. 


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