If you want to be a successful writer, “write every day” was the advice given several times during author Rick Pullen’s presentation yesterday at the England Run Library. After being rejected by agents 39 times, his first book, Naked Ambition, was published by Kindle Scout and sales hit the roof. His trade paperback print version has also sold well. He is serious about writing and works hard to learn the craft. His background as a investigative reporter helps him to come up with excellent story lines, but he admitted, writing nonfiction is very different than writing fiction. Rick is dedicated to producing the best writing he can.
He gave his audience insights into writing, publishing, the real story behind Kindle Scout (hint: reader nominations have little to do with an author securing a contract), how Amazon is setting up brick and mortar stores to capture even more customers (doesn’t make sense to me, but apparently it does to Amazon), and the amount of money needed to be spent in order to get your book noticed.
I went away energized by his presentation, but later felt a little down. I am not in a position to spend thousands of dollars attending writing conferences, hiring several different kinds of editors, and marketing firms, nor do I want to wait a (large) number of years with the hope of finding an agent and getting published.
I had to remind myself why I am writing, what my personal goals are. I write to challenge myself to finish a story that readers will find fun and interesting. I am not writing to be famous or to make money. I don’t want a career – been there; done that.
I encourage every writer to think about what motivates them. Be realistic about publishing goals. Rick was very clear about the skills and time needed to finish a well-crafted book, and to get published – unless you are Lee Child! (Rick will be publishing his interview with Lee Child in the near future.)