Trying to be J.K. Rowling will rob you of the very thing that made J.K. who she is – a visionary.
But I’m Indie Published…
So you don’t have to listen to editors, right? Unless you hire them (which you probably should) or you barter with them (as you definitely should, swapping critiques with other writer friends). For indie authors, the challenge is to know which advice to listen to and which to turn away with a polite thank you for your help. And this can be difficult, my friends, even when the guillotine of a publishing contract isn’t hanging over your head – because you want to write the best story you can, but conflicting advice can be hard to parse. And then there’s your own nagging head, saying, Maybe I should write a 50 Shades of Grey story, because those sell. Or No one will ever buy the kinds of stories I like to write.
Nail Down Your Fears With A Steak Knife
When I was drafting Third Daughter, my steampunk fantasy romance, I had recurring bouts of terror because 1) I loved steampunk, but I really had no idea what it was, 2) I was writing 19th century Indian Steampunk in an alternate universe, which apparently only three other people in the known universe have done, and 3) I wasn’t feeling the voice for a long time. It was really the last one that scared me. So, I sat down and free wrote until I realized my fear was that this story would take more research than I expected, and I didn’t have time to do that and write the story. I pinned that fear to the table with my pen, went to the library for some research materials, and forged ahead. In other words, I trusted my process, which at the moment was demanding more research. I also trusted that the voice would eventually come, if I kept working it (it did, but not until the third draft).
Having faith in your work. Believing you can fix the work until it lines up with your vision. Nailing down your fears and forging ahead anyway. These are the things that will allow you to reveal your uniqueness to the world – something I believe is a vitally important part of your happiness as a writer, as well as your future success in the marketplace.
Now, go forth and believe in yourself. Next we’ll talk about taking that Leap Of Faith in making your vision come true.