Oh wait. There is no magic button.

This week we’re talking with Jeff Haws and his explanation of why there isn’t a Magic Button and why you should be happy there isn’t.

My connection with Jeff began when he posted a reply to comment in a writer’s group. Here’s the back and forth.

Frustration: Being an author in these times has challenges. The world of internet commerce and exposure has made it easier for one to self-publish outside of the realm of traditional publishers. Books can be ordered one at a time eliminating the problem of needing a warehouse to store your efforts.

However, this has opened a different set of hurdles. Thousands if not millions are now self-publishing and therefore creating a hailstorm of books available to the public. How do you get your work out there? I am seriously re-thinking my approach to all of this as I find myself spending a considerable amount of time marketing instead of writing.

After all writing and art are my true passions. Not selling and marketing. Anyone out there have the magic button?

Jeff wrote: 

There is not any, and never has been any, way around the marketing part. Nor has there ever been any magic button, or we’d all be using it. Write your best story. Do what you can marketing it. Write another. Then write another. Then write another. Then write another. If you make every story great, it’ll either happen for you or it won’t.

The other guy wrote: 

Damn I was hoping for a magic button

Jeff wrote: 

Don’t wish it was easy. Be glad it’s hard. If it were easy, even more people would do it, and it’d be less rewarding for those who succeeded. The one thing giving you a shot is the fact that it is very hard. That means that those who work hard, and are good at it, and are diligent workers for many years, have a better shot than the rest.

Think about author success as completing a 100-mile run. You start the run surrounded by hundreds of other competitors, and that can seem daunting. But you know the vast majority won’t come near finishing all 100 miles. They won’t have the talent or the drive or the stamina or the interest or whatever. The key is to just keep going. When the rest of them fall out, run another mile. Then another mile. Every word you write, you pass somebody who didn’t. Every story you finish, that’s one more ahead of someone else. Forget about sales. Think about logging miles.

When you get to those last 10 miles, there will be hardly anyone else around you anymore. And those last 10 miles are undoubtedly the toughest. They have to be ground out, and it takes a little luck to get 100. But you can get to 75 or 80 on sheer hard, stubborn work, while the rest of the pack looks in vain for a magic button.