Really? Can it be that simple? Only three steps?
Seekervillagers aren’t that gullible! You know that becoming a successful author is a long, laborious process.
But these three steps are key to getting you to where you want to go.
First, be teachable.
Being teachable means that you are willing to learn...even if that learning comes after an ouch of a critique, or you feel like your toes have been stepped on.
Being teachable means that you are willing to open your eyes to a new way of looking at things.
Being teachable means that you ask for advice, then consider that advice, and follow it if it's valuable.
Being teachable means being willing to change your opinion. And I know how hard that can be!
An example? I'm in the process of developing covers for my soon-to-be released cozy mystery series (and my first venture into Indy publishing!) I designed a few covers that I liked. In fact, I liked them a lot. I ran them past a few people that I could trust to be honest with me, asking for feedback.
I got the feedback! Especially from my daughter. My other friends (thank you Seekerville ladies!) were polite and they gave some useful suggestions. My daughter didn't worry about being polite. She told me point-blank what she thought. (Both approaches are needed and appreciated!)
I took all the suggestions - the polite ones as well as the not-so-polite - and went back to the drawing board. And I LOVE the result. It's much better than my first fifteen or so versions!
I'm so glad I remained teachable throughout this process, and I'm pleased with the final (or nearly final) version of my cover. You'll have to wait a couple months for the official cover reveal, but here's the series logo to give you a taste:
Second, be gracious.
Being gracious means promoting other authors as often as you can.
Being gracious means NOT responding to that unfair and wicked negative review, no matter how much you want to.
Being gracious means meeting deadlines and responding to your business emails in a timely fashion.
Being gracious means extending grace to others in all circumstances.
This is one of those things I'm constantly working on in myself. I don't think any of us are naturally gracious (although Debby comes close!) and learning to be gracious is harder to learn for some of us than for others.
Graciousness is a close cousin of humility. It's easier to be gracious when we're humble.
Third, be an active learner.
Being an active learner means that you seek out places to learn your craft - and Seekerville is a good place to start.
Being an active learner means that if there is a skill set you don't have, you learn it. (Although at times what you learn is when you need to hire someone else to do that particular skill!)
Being an active learner means that you don't rely on others to spoon-feed you. There are basic skills an author has to have - negotiating the internet, knowing how to use Word, knowing how to write a synopsis/blurb/back cover copy/etc. Learn those things for yourself. Don't rely on someone else to do them for you.
Being an active learner means that you are constantly learning. You're reading new releases in your writing genre. You're researching details for your next WIP. You're reading a craft book that an author you respect has recommended. You're reading blog posts by agents and publishers. You're listening to podcasts on every subject from how to structure a story to how to build your website.
Something else being an active learner does for you is to keep your mind young and your life engaged. Studies have shown that learning something new is the best way to keep the synapses in your brain active and pliable, so keep learning!
This short list is just a beginning. There is much more to being a successful author than what I've mentioned here, but it is a start. And if you keep these things in mind, you're on your way!
What do you think? Are there steps that you would add to move us along the path to success?
And be sure to come by Seekerville on Wednesday to catch Debby Giusti's list for a successful author - the two of us were thinking along the same lines this week!
One more thing! The re-release of A Home for His Family is coming next week! Click on the picture above to preorder from Amazon, or head over to my website for ordering links: www.JanDrexler.com