Marie Claire magazine recently published a short article on “5 Secrets of the Highest-Paid Women,” which caught my eye because of course who doesn’t want to be highly paid? And I also wondered if any of the suggestions would transfer to this strange and wonderful pursuit of being an author.
1. Always be yourself. (Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO) Good point for authors as well. I have to write my own stories, with my particular style and vision. I may wildly love the paranormal romances that someone else creates, but if I’m not feeling angels and vampires, or cowboys and aliens, then I need to write what does spark my creativity. I pay attention to what’s going on in the world of paranormal romances of course, but if I have a hot idea for something set in a different place, then I need to pursue that. Maybe it will sit on the shelf for a while or maybe it’ll be the next hot new thing. Who knows?
2. Your name is your brand, so guard it with your life. (Rachel Ray, Chef) I can see several applications of this advice to writing. I only have one opportunity to engage and favorably impress any new Reader, so I owe them my best efforts. I owe my existing Readers what they expect to find in a book by me, nothing less! And when I’m out on social media, blogging or tweeting, I’m representing my “brand” to the world so I try to be consistent, not say something if I don’t mean it. Always put forth high quality work.
3. Don’t waste energy combating haters. (Beyonce, Singer) The book pirates I spend time shutting down today will pop back up tomorrow, so while I’m not saying don’t fight the piracy, I should consider the energy investment vs. writing new stuff.
4. Make sure your (significant other) is fully committed to you – and your success. (Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street) Pretty self explanatory!
5. Position yourself for the job you want. (Maria Sharapova, Athlete) I guess here I’d say for myself as an author, be open to new ideas, seek out the tools of the trade, classes, workshops, network, use social media to connect with peers and Readers – the last author who got to sit in a garret and just write was probably Jo in Little Women!