In 1650, Spanish painter Diego Velázquez was commissioned by Pope Innocent X to paint a portrait of his.
Three centuries later, another artist would attempt to recreate it. Despite never having seen this painting in person, the Irish artist Francis Bacon would repaint it, over and over again, completing a total of 50 paintings during the 1950s and 1960s.
During the summer of 1957, another famous artist, Pablo Picasso, was inspired by Velázquez’s masterpiece, Las Meninas.
The first thing I wrote that actually got me quite a bit of exposure was a novella called “An Emperor’s Will.” I wrote it when I was 16 years old, and I won a National Literary Contest. And a lot of published writers read it and loved it. On an online workshop frequented by some of the best SF and Fantasy writers in Romania, it received mostly positive reviews.
Whenever we submit a part of our soul that we translated into words, we do so armed with nothing but the hope that the person reading our work will understand it.
Sometimes they do. Most times they don’t.
Rejection scrapes the heart. But, well, there’s nothing to do about it. In fact, rejection is as much a part of being a writer as punching those damn keys. It’s as much a part of being a writer as the edits and the rewrites and the social media marketing.
So, you have a finished manuscript, and now you’re ready to share it with as many readers as possible.
In order to do that, you must choose one of two paths: either self-publish your book yourself, or go the traditional route and try to find a publisher.
Deciding on which route to take means that you’ve got to figure out a couple of things about yourself first, about your book, and about your ability to effectively market (and enjoy the process) both yourself as an author and your book.
Now, let’s discuss the essential questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to decide if self-publishing your book is the best available option for you.
Did you know that you can deduce how much money someone earns by asking them a simple question?
You can, in fact, deduce a lot about them, about their principles, ethics, dreams, and goals.
What is that question?
Well, it’s simple.
“Do you believe in work-life balance?”
If it takes you less than 10 seconds to have a negative emotional reaction to what I am implying here, stop and think about why.
If you feel the need to say, “Yeah, but…” you should also stop for a minute and ask yourself if life’s a balancing act or not, and if going through life as if walking on tightrope is the only available option.
If you pay close attention to extremely successful people sharing stories about their habits and principles, you’d notice they’re all about the hustle.
Elon Musk once shared a piece of simple advice, “Work like hell.”
The trouble is, most people burn out. Folks end up in the hospital. Some even worse.
You will want to create something of your own. You will want to do what you can, with whatever’s at your disposal at that moment. Right there, right then. If you have to write your story on a piece of napkin, so be it. If you have to sketch on your phone, fine.
When you find your muse, you will feel yourself becoming addicted to the promise of doing work you hope could last forever…
For most of my twenties, there were so many things I didn’t want to be true about myself.
I believed I was quite unlovable, which was my excuse for not trying to be worthy of love in any way. I believed I’d always struggle financially, so I made no serious effort to earn more, to save more, or to build multiple streams of income.
I believed that life was harsh, that people didn’t like me for being skinny, kind of ugly, and not nearly as charming as everyone else, so I lived in a state of perpetual fear — I somehow expected the world to decide that I wasn’t worthy of living on this planet anymore and send me off to spend the rest of my life on the dark side of the moon.
All information indicated that I was right: the women in my lifeeither didn’t want to be involved romantically with me or left me after a couple of months. I always struggled to earn enough to pay the bills. I didn’t have that many friends.
Life was a pain. Hell was other people. And I was but a shadow traveling through life at the speed of your average bus, sometimes a cab or an Uber.