Become Your Favorite Author
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Hello, fair readers!
(Side note: I may be repeating myself in this post, but I've been thinking about this subject a lot lately, so it's relevant.)
About five years ago I was told something that resonated with me, and I've remembered ever since. I don't know the exact quote, but it went something like,
If you want to be successful at something,
FIND SOMEONE WHO IS,
DO WHAT THEY DID.
Now, in the world of publishing this advice may not seem exactly helpful, what with the recent popularity of eBooks and self publishing and how much the business has changed and is changing right now, but the business isn't really what I'm talking about. Of course we all want to be successful-best-selling authors, but in publishing the name of the game is GREAT WRITING and GREAT STORIES.
A few weeks ago, I had a big responsibility fall upon my shoulders. I won't go into details, but I will say that it forced me to look at my publishing plans and re-evaluate what I really wanted. This experience reminded me of my responsibility as an author to create great stories for readers, regardless of how many readers I have. Before I can be published, self, small, or traditional, I must perfect my work.
Which brings me back to the saying at the beginning. I needed to find an author to learn from. I'm not saying I went and broke down someone's writing and mimicked it, but I needed successful published authors whose work *I LIKED* that I could learn from.
I chose Brandon Sanderson.
It wasn't a hard choice, actually. If you're at all familiar with my social media you'll know I talk about him and his work all the freaking time, so the choice was obvious for me. I'd already been reading his books for a while, listening to podcasts, and occasionally watched his lectures on YouTube. I enjoy his writing, his stories, and the worlds he builds. His explanations of various writing tools/tropes/structures and more are always clear. Just reading his books with a critical eye has taught me so much, but I'm lucky in that he's so remarkably open with his knowledge and in helping aspiring writers to not suffer from the same pitfalls he did. (Brandon, if you read this, THANK YOU.)
I'm not saying I'm the next Brandon Sanderson. I don't want to be. He writes crazy awesome action scenes and massive epic stories, where I write shorter, faster paced stories with strong romantic subplots. I'll never write exactly like he does, and that's okay. I want to write like ME, but take Brandon's advice, knowledge, and experience and apply it to my own writing as best I can.
So writers, answer me this:
If there was one successful author you could emulate, meet, pick their brain, who would it be, and why?
I'm interested to see what you choose, and hear your reasons.
You guys are awesome, keep it up.
Author of YA and MG speculative fiction. Gryffindor. Mommy. Fangirl. Wandmaker.