When my friend Jordan, a cute straight guy I know, sent me a link in an e-mail yesterday, I decided to share. I’ve owned two small businesses, one of which I sold for profit. And as a writer, I’ve always considered myself in business.
Publishing is a business, as well as many other things. And each of the 9 qualities listed below are things authors have to keep in mind just like any other businessperson. I’m going to list the qualities verbatim as they were listed in the article, below, and then comment after each one. Here’s a link to the entire article, from Time Magazine, where you can read it in full.
1. They find happiness in the success of others.
For me, this is helping other authors in various ways, through promotions, through beta reading, and through support when things aren’t going well.
2. They relentlessly seek new experiences.
If you’re a writer and you aren’t thinking about your future, you should change that right now. Don’t let anyone box you in, especially in one genre. The m/m romance genre is still strong. But no one knows how long that will last. And history always repeats itself. Keep moving forward and trying new things. I’ve changed many times in the past twenty years and I’m going to keep doing it.
3. They don’t think work/life balance; they just think life.
This is interesting, because that’s how I do think. When I owned my gallery, I didn’t think in terms of balancing my social life. The gallery was my social life. Though writing isn’t as demanding as owning a physical business where you have be there at all times, writing is “life,” too.
4. They’re incredibly empathetic.
This can be hard for some people. To be honest, I’m still working on it, especially when it comes to people who simply do not get parody and burping dicks (smile).
5. They have something to prove – to themselves.
I think this has always been my biggest motivation, from owning an art gallery to publishing a novel. Can I do it? Do I even dare try this?
6. They ignore the 40-hour workweek hype.
I’ve never worked a 40-hour week in my life. Usually it’s been seven days a week. But I’ve never actually kept track. I also don’t think in terms of retirement and senior housing down the line like some do. Writers don’t retire, they expire.
7. They see money as a responsibility, not a reward.
No matter what product you’re selling, make it the best you can. It’s your responsibility to do this, whether you’re selling art or books. And, you can’t sell from an empty cart, so make sure you have plenty of merchandise to go around.
8. They don’t think they’re remarkable.
Unfortunately, I know a few who think they ARE remarkable. But most authors I know are just doing what they love and they don’t think this way. I never did.
9. They know that success is fleeting, but dignity and respect last forever.
Nothing lasts forever. That’s life. In terms of publishing, be prepared for anything, from fake/bad reviews that are attacks from other authors who don’t like you, to bestsellers you never expected. And always make sure that what you put out there in terms of how you will be perceived is something you’re proud of. Because that’s going to last for a long time, especially on the Internet.