Friday, 15 January 2016

Fake It Until You Make it!

I went to a writing masterclass with the above title. It was all about giving yourself the power to call yourself a writer, to brand you and your book and develop a writer platform, preferably long before you've even written the book.

The two hour class was given by writer Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go.
Because I knew it was to do with online platforms I thought I might gain insight into some neat ways of conquering Twitter, Facebook and having the worlds best blog and website. Sadly that isn't what I took from this masterclass; I didn't learn anything I didn't already know. In fact I left there a little disappointed. You see, writers like me can spend a fortune learning how to be a better writer, how to get agents and publishers to notice us and how to be an online genius as well as write brilliant books.

When my husband picked me up from the station, he hit the nail on the head. He asked me how the author got her big break and I said it was from a chance meeting and conversation with the right person. "So," he said. "You just spent money listening to someone for two hours telling you how they got their lucky break!" Was he right? Was the masterclass really nothing to do with Faking Until You Make It?

I went to bed deflated. All I want is a book deal. Is that so much to ask? I know that luck can play a big part in success, surely I can get lucky too?

In the morning I reflected on the masterclass again. When Clare first "faked it" as it were, it wasn't in order to get a book deal. That all came later. She was published as a result of her "faking it" as a writer, but the "faking it" bit takes time. It was years before her chance meeting happened and it may not have happened if Clare hadn't persevered. Maybe there is something in this "faking" business after all. But more importantly, no matter what, Clare wouldn't have gotten a book deal if she hadn't written a great book. The reviews speak for themselves.

I Let You Go is now on my reading list. (Someone at the masterclass highly recommended it).

During the masterclass Clare asked us to stand if we called ourselves a writer, to continue to stand if we considered ourselves a good writer and, of those remaining on our feet, stay standing if we thought we were brilliant writers. I had the courage to say I was brilliant - well, Clare did say it was all right to blow our own trumpets.

Now that I have proclaimed I'm brilliant - I need to prove it! So it's back to the editing for me, until When Skies Are Grey is brilliant. And I can't Fake that.



7 comments:

  1. A really interesting post, Fran - especially as I am in the same position as you.

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    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for commenting and good luck with your writing journey! We're both going to need it :)

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  3. Hi Fran, Disappointing when you go on a course and don't feel as though you've learnt anything. But I hope it was inspiring to be around other writers. I'm not sure about "Fake it until you make it" but I do know that "You have to be in it to win it" Keep your chin up, it will happen for all of us one day if we don't give up along the way.

    Linda

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    1. You're right, Linda and I'm definitely 'In It!' Let's just keep going. It will happen :)

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  4. Hi Fran:
    One of the things I think all writers need to figure out is what "Making It" really means. Defining what I wanted from and for my writing career helped me better plan how to get there. Perseverance is definitely the key and confidence is crucial.

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    1. Absolutely, Donna. I know what it means for me and I know I have a long way to go to get there.

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