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When Am I Ready?

March 4, 2021- Today’s question from an author is something that I get asked a lot. Follow us all this month as I dig into reader’s questions and answer them from the perspective of fellow author and publisher. You can send us your questions to pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Let’s dig in!

Q:“I’ve always wanted to write a mystery novel because I love to read them! But I don’t think that I’ve got what it takes yet. There’s still a ton I need to do before I could ever think of sitting down to write my own book. When will I know when I’m ready?”

A: Thanks for your question. When would be a good time to write your mystery novel? Now. Now. Now. Do it, get started, who cares if you don’t have all the details or your ducks in a row, get going! Let me ask you this, have you always been an expert in everything you’ve ever tried to do? What about the first time you learned to ride a bike? Did you pick it up instantly and flawlessly? Probably not. But you tried, and practiced, and fell off, and got back on, until eventually, you were successful! You didn’t know the mechanics of bike riding or what muscles needed to be activated for balance and forward motion, but you did it anyway, so what in the world is stopping you now? I’ll tell you what it is. Fear. Because as soon as you write anything for publication, you’re immediately vulnerable. You’ll have some people that won’t like your work, but who cares? The point is that you’re about to do something that you’ve always wanted to do and that’s pretty special! It doesn’t matter if you’ve got all the details yet, beginning anything even when we aren’t ready, gives us momentum to move forward. Think of it this way, have you ever driven at night? The headlights on your truck only allow you to see a couple hundred feet in front of you, but as soon as you start moving, the light reveals another few hundred feet, and another few hundred feet until you finally arrive at your destination. You don’t have to see the whole road, just turn on the truck and start driving! The same goes for writing, starting is always the hardest part, but as soon as we commit to it, we’ll never turn back; it’s an addiction, a calling, an obsession. The fact is, no one is ever ready. But wouldn’t you rather see what happens than never try at all and spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been? If you need help, bring in the experts, but you don’t need to do that to begin; all you need is to put your fingers on the keyboard or pen to paper. Start writing now.

If you need help with your writing, check out some of our classes here: Best-Seller Bootcamp – Pandamonium Publishing House,  Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House

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The Queen’s Gambit

November 13, 2020-I’ve been watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix; what a show! It’s so good, and I’ve never wanted to learn how to play chess more in my life than right now. If we look at the main character, Beth Harmon, we see why she’s so successful in her career. We can use her obsession with chess to inspire our own work ethic when it comes to writing and creating. Here’s how Beth made it big:

  1. She put in the work. Beth practiced playing chess each day for hours, and when she wasn’t playing, she read books, studied the greats, and played hundreds of hours of games.  We need to do the same and schedule our writing time and remain consistent on the path to our author goals. Imagine where you would end up at the end of the year if you started writing a few pages each day!
  2. She sacrificed. When people were partying, Beth was learning all she could about the game. She sacrificed time with friends and time spent doing other activities to perfect her craft, and sometimes we need to do the same to become successful authors.
  3. She had a network of support. Beth’s friends supported her; she had the support of her adopted mother, the janitor at her previous school who taught her how to play, and her previous roommate. She also had the support of people she played against, albeit not at first. You have so many people cheering you on as an author, and you are someone’s favourite writer. People are hoping for your success, buying your books, sharing your posts, and spreading the word about you.
  4. She was generous. Beth took care of those around her, especially her mother. She was generous with her winnings, and when her mother said she would manage her for 10% commission, Beth offered her 15%. Being generous to those who have helped us get where we are is important. We can’t do this alone as authors, and we should thank those who have believed in us from the start and pushed us to fulfill our potential.
  5. She believed in herself and her abilities. A lot of people didn’t believe in Beth, especially when she first started. But that didn’t matter, she believed in herself, and she refused to give up. The same thing happens to us as authors; people ask how we’re going to survive on an artist’s income, or are we sure that we want to write a book and be totally vulnerable to everyone who reads it. We must believe in ourselves and our abilities as artists. People will always have something to say, but it’s our belief in ourselves that matters most.

If you haven’t watched it yet, I hope you’ll tune in to The Queen’s Gambit. It’s a remarkable take on fulfilling one’s destiny and the work that needs to be done to get there.