Know that meme “Dance Like No One’s Watching”? Write like no one’s reading. Which they probably aren’t. I’m talking the indie life here (even though it applies to traditional pubbing too). Unless there’s push behind your work the odds are pretty good that at this very moment you’ve eaten more burgers in your life than your books have sold. There are always the fortunate exceptions to this, and huge ups to those. But generally speaking there’s not enough time in the day or you to go around when it comes to knocking on the doors of a world of potential readers. So dance instead. Mentally dance. When someone starts dancing in the middle of the block there’ll suddenly be a thousand eyes on ‘em. That’s you as you write the next book. That’s you for you. Be your dancer, be your audience, and enjoy the movement of your body. Yes you want your books to sell. Until the economic system changes that’s the model we’re working with. But always keep one in the hopper. An idea, a book, a story – something that excites you. If you don’t, dread sets in. Dread and career ennui. The moment you slow down you’re in thrall to some nasty brain ants. Make yourself a moving target to those sumbitches. The You’re No Good ants; The Why Bother ants; the Ants of Extreme Rancor: Automatic Negative Thoughts. You’ll even get some Aunts in there (automatic unnecessary negative thoughts; these are the ones that go round and round and end up absolutely nowhere). Every detrimental thought passes its message on to the other ants until putting yourself down becomes routine. Screw that ant hill. Dance on it. How? No magic. No secret. Just you. Whether you tell yourself this or not, please know that you are a mofo of steel. On more than one occasion you have made the mountain feel safe atop a wild earthquake. Own, as the pope has been known to say, that shit.
Do it. Write. STOP THINKING ABOUT THE END RESULT OF WHAT YOU’RE WRITING AND JUST WRITE. The other stuff? That’s cleaning up after sex. And you’re not going to sit there and tell me you eschew sex because you don’t wanna shower afterward. Don’t go there. Enjoy the nibblies. Stop thinking about the marketing you’ll have to do, or the tweeting or the blogging. That way lies madness. Don’t worry about the end result; that’s in the future. Be here now. Get naked and wiggle things. And keep wiggling. Dance the dance electric. Vertically or horizontally, a dance is a dance. Doesn’t matter if you look like Elaine from Seinfeld doing it, just do it. You never know who might be watching. And if nobody is watching? It still feels bloody damn good in the head as you’re trying dreams on for bed.
Win win, my friend. Win win.