A musician shows up for an orchestra audition. First, the conductor asks a few questions:
"How long have you been playing?"
"Not long, but I've listened to lots of orchestra concerts, so I know what good music should sound like."
"Who do you study with?"
"Oh, I figured I could teach myself."
"What have you performed?"
"I only know one song. But it's a great tune. Do you want to hear it?"
So why do so many people think they can sit down, write one book, and publish it? Worst of all, why do people get discouraged and quit when their first manuscript isn't snapped up and made into a bestseller?
It's gonna take some time. It's going to take effort. And it might even take some *gasp* money. We're talking about gaining an education here. If you know anyone who gives violin lessons for free, please get me in touch.
I've always loved to sing. In high school I was in my top choir, so I thought when I got to college it would be the same. After my audition the conductor looked at me and said, "Do you realize how competitive this choir is?"
I really had no idea.
"Come back in a few years when your voice has matured."
My voice didn't really mature until I was twenty-five years old. One day some gear inside my body clicked into place, and the director of my church choir had to tell me to tone it down so I wouldn't drown everyone else out. I've seen this same thing happen to some of my writer friends. They write book after book, each one good in its own way, but not anything that people would run out to buy. And then some gear in their brain clicks into place and the next thing they write is something amazing. Something which does get snapped up and turned into a bestseller, or climbs the charts on Amazon.com.
It doesn't happen overnight.
So prepare yourself. Study, read, and write, write, write. And don't give up if you're not an instant success. Someday, you might be the person who writes my favorite book.