(By Dan Balow)
Here’s how to determine your book three (because book two is comparatively simple):
- Accept your unique approach – I worded it this way intentionally to use the word “accept.” You know what your unique style is, but the creative lobe in your brain fights it. You are a researcher, an explorer, an encourager, and a forgiver you know who you are. It could be the exercise of your God-given spiritual gift in writing. If you know your spiritual gifts, you know your creative approach. Easier said than done, but not impossible. If your dominant spiritual gifts are teaching and encouragement, then this is your unique writing approach…to teach and encourage. Accept it, don’t fight it.
- Accept the fact you probably have one primary core message – this is actually quite liberating. Much of publishing is writing the same core message to different audiences. Once you accept you have one core message, accept the challenge of communicating the same thing to different people. The vast majority of authors will publish three or fewer books in their lifetime. Accept the reality your author-window is relatively brief and highly focused.
- Accept the fact you will be limited – unless you are a one-in-a-million writer (or self-published) you will not be known for writing novels, narrative non-fiction, cookbooks, text books, kids books, picture books and coloring books. Accept the fact you will be known for one thing…one type of writing.
- Accept input from others – Your first book was your idea. Probably number two was pretty much your idea. Others might heavily influence your third book. You need to make sure it fits with your unique approach and core message, but when publishing people and readers start suggesting a direction for number three, you might do well to listen. Accepting suggestions does not make you less of an author. It makes you a willing participant in communicating to others through the written word.
So, are you a professional writer (published or unpublished) or do you want to get a book published? There are more opportunities (and more agents looking for you) for the former than the latter.
Reprinted by permission. This first appeared on The Steve Laube Agency blog.