Today my three year old was running around the house, pretending to be a pirate, and I found myself thinking, 'Do I really want my son pretending to be a pirate?' I mean, historically speaking, pirates are NOT known for their good behavior. In fact, they're known throughout the world as thieves. YIKES!
But then the rational me stepped forward-a.k.a the person I was before I became a mommy-and I started thinking about all the fun that I had pretending to be a pirate as a child. And then I thought, ' Chilax, Mom! There has to be something redeemable about pirates or the world wouldn't be so fascinated by them. I mean authors write about them all the time. Filmakers reenact their lives. And children dress up like them for Halloween.
So I chilled for a sec. and thought, what are the redeemable qualities of a pirate? I mean everyone has at least one good trait, right? And when I was done, it surprised me that I was able to think of quite a few redeemable qualities in a pirate. To be honest, I actually started to think, 'Man, maybe I need to be a pirate! Heck, all writers could learn a thing or two from pirates.
So I decided to pass on my new found knowledge to ye, me friends and fellow pirates. ARGH!
5 Things An Author Can Learn From A Pirate
1. If you want to get the booty, you have to work-off your patooty. Being an author is hard work. So if you joined this profession thinking that all of your ideas are great and that it's going to be SOOOOO easy to get published, you'd probably better rethink your career plans. Authors are some of the hardest working people out there. They write into the wee hours of the night, rewrite until their eyes cross, and network until they amass an army of supporters. And that's not the kind of thing that happens overnight. It takes time. A lot of time. So if you want to get the booty-a.k.a the publishing contract-then be prepared to work your butt off. Because writing is not for the faint of heart. And often times, you'll have to work two jobs at once.
2. It's all about the hook! A good hook captures your attention and draws you in immediately. Without one, readers and agents will not keep reading past the first few pages. So be bold with your beginning! If you have a good hook, you'll surely sell your book.(Ok. Possibly sell your book. But that didn't sound as cool.)
3. X marks the spot. Editing is key when it comes to quality writing. Rome was not built in a day, people. It took a lot of time and planning. And good writing is a lot like creating a great civilization. So if you want your book to see the shelf and be known as the book among books, you must edit. Otherwise, thank the Romans for creating the sewer system, because that's exactly where your book may be headed. Believe me. I know from experience.
4. You can't be a good captain without a loyal crew.It takes a lot of work to run a tight ship. And the key to any successful endeavor is teamwork. Agents, publishers, editors, family, and friends are all a part of your team/crew, so thank them. Because without their support, your ship may run aground. Without them, you may not finish your book. And without them, you may not even be inspired to write at all.
5. Sometimes 'walking the plank' is the only answer. Everything you write is not going to be brilliant. And sometimes you may need to make a character, sentence, or story 'walk the plank'. Sometimes a member of your crew may even need to 'walk the plank'. And that's ok! In the words of the Gambler, Kenny Rodgers, "You've got to know when to fold 'em. Know when to hold 'em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run." And if anyone's had a successful career, it's that man. So if I were you, I'd heed his advice.