Choose Your Own Ending
Last week I attended a writers’ conference whose theme was exactly that. Writers can choose their own ending to their own personal autobiographies. The motivational speakers convinced us the only thing that stands in the way of success is…one’s self. You can choose how you want your career to go. Choose your own ending, they said.
I mulled that over in the evenings in my hotel room and realized I’d always known and believed that. How many times did I say to my children when they were small: when you choose to be happy you may come out and rejoin the family. When you choose to play nicely you may come back to the game. When you choose .......
I believed it enough to buck the odds and write a book; to finish it, polish it, publish it and sell it. Then to take that task on ten more times. Listening to the “how-to” speakers at the conference I realized what a monumental accomplishment that really was. She said of the thousands who want to write only a small percentage actually do it, only about three percent of those finish the book and less than two percent are published.
Many of those two percent don’t want to sell their book, refuse to market, or haven’t any idea how to begin. Perhaps for me starting out, my strongest point was that I didn’t know this was such a huge deal. Even in my school days, I’ve always been one that thought up “huge deal” projects and just did it. Flying by the seat of my pants, with no previous experience, I learned in the process. That’s how I continue to choose my outcome, my success, or accomplishments.
Authors must rely on their own wit and knowledge, patience and perseverance, leg work and education. Like The Little Red Hen, we are asking, “Who will help me write this book?” “Who will help me publish this book?” “Who will take my book to market?” And the answer is, “Then I will do it myself!” This particular conference, LexiCon in Denton, Texas, concentrates on support and promotion author to author, supporting one another, sharing what we learn, what we know, and publishers who are more interested in authors than money. The publishing industry has changed so much in the last ten years, and continues to pitch curve balls weekly. Conferences like this one answer the questions, “Who will help me…”
This mini blog I write twice a week I hope is helpful to unpublished authors who are looking ahead to when they must market a book. I hope sharing my experiences is helpful and enjoyable to those who are already taking this journey selling books. Perhaps some blog readers are marketing another product unrelated to literature and find some of the advice helpful. Many who read this blog may be readers rather than writers, and perhaps some read it for the travel and geography fun. I’m happy to have all of you and whether you read it for enjoyment or insight, I appreciate you taking time to read it, comment, share, invite friends, and come back. I’m grateful for your company on my trips, happy to have the opportunity to share my experiences in writing. I choose to write for you, and in so doing, choose how I want my story to be told.
How about you? Are you choosing your own ending or are you letting someone else write your story?