Going International And Keeping The Faith
When I first began writing I kept a wish list. Seeing my work on screen, in book shops, reaching readers throughout the globe and being sold in different languages featured high.
When my agent recently emailed to say Witness had been picked up in a Swedish deal, I was over the moon. The law of attraction must have been working hugely in my favour as Estonia and Russia soon followed suit. I was hugely excited to discover that I shared Stephen King and Paula Hawkin’s publisher in Russia. I’m also thrilled at the prospect of having my work translated into so many different languages.
In the English language alone, I have sold just shy of four hundred thousand copies of my books since 2015. I’m sharing this information to inspire others like me, who wish for their work to be spread far and wide. I’ve read a lot of posts lately about authors earning a pittance and the hard truths of being a writer. But it’s not that way for everyone. As a police detective of nine years, I was on a decent wage before I left to write full time. I was also a mum of four with a mortgage to pay. Leaving my job was a huge decision but one I’ve never come to regret. Yes, writing is hard work, and success doesn’t come easily. You’ve got to put in the hours and work when others are out socialising or asleep in bed.
I’ve installed an app called RescueTime on my computer which tells me how many hours I spend on my computer. Last week I clocked up seventy-five hours of writing in seven days. This doesn’t include time on social media responding to notifications or plotting in my notebook. Please don’t think I’m blowing my own trumpet. I’m just sharing my experiences in the hope of inspiring others. People like Joanna Penn and Mel Sherratt were my mentors (even though they didn’t know it at the time). I looked up to them and drew inspiration during the tough days when I felt like giving up. Soon I can slow down and enjoy the fruits of my labour, but I had to put those hours in to give myself the very best start.
I’m incredibly lucky to be able to work from home. I have nothing but admiration for the emergency services during these tough times because I know from experience that they will be working long hours with little rest. Writing for a living pales into significance compared to that. But hey, everybody has a dream and if yours is becoming a full-time author and you believe in your writing then keep on going because it can be done. Yes, it’s hard and nobody is going to throw money at you. You’ve got to be prepared to commit a decent chunk of your life to improving your craft. Writing is a business and you are your brand. Commit to studying the nuts and bolts of how it all works. It’s all online and this information won’t cost you anything but your time.
Have you written down your wish list? Your goals, dreams and aspirations? If not then why? My final piece of advice is to learn about the law of attraction. I mean, literally eat this stuff up because it works. Download audio books for when you can’t read. Watch The Secret until you know the words off by heart. If your friends laugh at you then you don’t need them anyway. Surround yourself with positive people. But you’ve still got to put the work in. Protect your writing when you take your first few steps into the world. Don’t sign anything unless you’ve thoroughly checked them out first. I’ve seen great authors fail because of poor publishing deals. It’s heartbreaking to see them work for a pittance because they’re tied up in knots and can’t go anywhere else. Join the SOA. They’re impartial and will look after you. Keep positive and keep working. And don’t forget that list.
Have you enjoyed this article? Any tips to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.
Picture courtesy of Tim Geers Flickr Creative Commons.