The Pursuit of Fame - A Writer's Guide

Famous people tell us fame is not so hot. You get mobbed, hassled, your privacy is shot, youíre always having to look your best and perform.

Okay, itís not quite so bad for a writer. You can hide to a certain extent. You donít have to put your picture on the jacket. You donít have to go on Oprah. ButÖ

Increasingly, in our modern age, itís difficult to become successful if you donít actively promote yourself, whether by signing books at the mall or doing local radio spots.

And everybody accepts that fame Ė though not great in itself Ė is supremely useful as a tool for creating success.

But itís getting so that you canít even compete unless youíre willing to promote yourself along with your writing.

This is not such a bad thing.

Itís obviously hard to make a shift from solitary wordsmith to debonair chat show guest. But youíve probably noticed that the writers that do force themselves into the limelight do sell a whole load more books!

But itís not the pursuit of fame that really matters. As Iíve mentioned many times before, itís goal setting that is the key.

The next time you sit down to write a book and short story, go the extra nine yards.

Write down your goals for your work. Do you want it published in the local rag? If you do, and you study what that market requires, chances are youíll get there. By why stop there?

Why not imagine your story or book on TV or as a movie? Or maybe as a franchise, a series, or even a set of kidís toys. Look at your work from this perspective and sometimes you can see EXACTLY whatís wrong with it. After all, if you can make your story work in a big way, it will probably make far more of an impression on agents and publishers in the short term, let alone a couple of years down the track.

Donít be afraid to think big.

Let your imagination soar in your writing, yes. But also try seeing yourself as one of those famous writers you see on TV. Why not? Theyíre not so different from you. Itís a myth that famous writers are cleverer, wittier and possess some secret you do not.

Have the courage to be the best you can be. Not just as a writer but as a person, and perhaps as a 'personality' too!

©robparnell 2003