To continue my “Failures” series, this post was originally published on my Only for the Brave blog on January 9, 2018. And now, I’ve added more thoughts.
Failure According to Sue Grafton
As I considered my next blog in this series, I came across this article in my mailbox and thought I would inject a small part of it here, between my writings, because Sue Grafton confirms what I wrote about in “Failures Part II,” in that we learn by failing.
Sue is the best-selling and award-winning author of the famous alphabet murder mystery series, with Kinsey Millhone as the protagonist: A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, C is for Corpse…
Here are Sue’s own words about what constitutes success and why failing is important. The source link for her quoted words is below.
What has made you so successful?
I hope it is because I try to be honest, and I try not to sell anything. I just try to let the work take care of itself….
What advice do you have for newer writers?
My big gripe about newer writers is they’re not willing to put the time in. Somebody’ll write one book and they’re asking me who my agent and my editor are, and I’m thinking, Don’t you worry, sweetheart, you’re not any good yet. Give yourself time to get better. Writing is really hard to master. You learn by failing over and over, but a lot of people don’t care for that, thanks. I always wish new writers the greatest good fortune. It’s a helluva journey—I’ll tell you that.
“You learn by failing over and over.” She’s also confirming that if we write a good story, the writing will sell itself.
Reading her words, I’m being reminded once again, and again by an expert writer, that I need not focus on the selling but that I need to focus on the writing.
No amount of advertising can sell a mediocre book. However, a great story will sell itself because readers can’t help but tell others how great it is. There’s no advertising like word-of-mouth advertising. Recommendations are priceless.
Guest Column. “W Is for Writer: A 2010 interview with Sue Crafton (1940=2017).” Web blog post. There are No Rules. Writer’s Digest, 31 Dec. 2017. Web. 9 Jan 2018.
Thank you. I’ve flagged this email to reread each step forward with two steps back.