My latest book just came out, and I’ve been taking some time to think about that.
I wrote my first book in 1997, and self-published it after it was rejected 104 times. That’s not a typo; there’s a zero in the middle.
My latest book, The Leonardo Trait: Create the Life You Were Born to Live (2nd Edition), is also a self-published effort, but only after I canceled arrangements with two publishers and decided to do it myself, to get it done after two years of waiting on someone else.
Quite a difference there, from a book no one wanted to a book two different publishers wanted, even if they didn’t carry through on their wishes. But the difference is not in the books (although The Leonardo Trait 2nd Edition is way better than my first book).
The difference is in me as a person.
When I wrote my first book, I wanted to write a book, and I did. I’ve written several since, and I love writing. But I also had to learn to love the process of being an author—with all the rejection and sometimes tedious work that entails. At one point, someone mentioned how “lucky” I am as a writer. I said, rather caustically, “It’s amazing how lucky you get when you sit down and work at it 60 hours a week.” The comment was about my “luck” in getting an agent. The truth was, I spent over 100 hours researching and querying agents. Luck was not involved. And that’s what I tell writers.
Sure, you may have a coincidence or a “bit of luck,” but you’re not going to become a successful author through luck.
That’s the good news, because if it’s not about luck, it’s completely in your control.
Of course, most people aren’t willing to assume that control, but when you do, your life becomes your own for the first time.
As an author, you need to know, and remember, who you are.
You are someone with powerful words that need to be expressed. And if you don’t tell your story or share your message, no one else will. No one else can. As an author, you have to persist and work and hang on even when you don’t think that you can, because you are the only one who can.
You have to do it because it needs to be done.
Keep writing and keep pushing forward because it’s there. And along the way you’ll experience a little luck, perhaps, but you won’t need it.
Angie Dixon is the author of the groundbreaking creativity book, The Leonardo Trait: Create the Life You Were Born to Live. Take Angie’s free creativity quiz at http://www.TheLeonardoTrait.com and discover your creativity style.