One percent of people who consider themselves committed and serious writers are ever published. I understand much of this is out of the writer’s hand. Authors are dependant upon agents, publishers, editors, publicists, marketers, and the literate public to come through for them.
But that is not the difference. In fact, no one can really blame these others for the reason why they are not published. It comes down, as it always does, to the writer. And while you may need the help of these others, what kind of sacrifices are you willing to make to show how serious you really are?
I feel that sacrifice may be one of the biggest factors in making an author successful. This may be what decides if you are One of the one. Plenty of people can say they are committed, but those who truly are make sacrifices and show it. Commitment is not always seen in what we are willing to do, but what we are willing to not do.
A Lesson From The Movies
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have seen and love Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, and those who should. Hugo is a young orphaned boy who lives in Paris during the 1930s. He becomes involved in the life of a sad old man who ends up being the real historical figure Georges Méliès.
You may be familiar with iconographic image of bullet-styled rocked sticking out from the eye of the man of the moon. That is taken from one of the over 500 films written by, directed by, produced by, and staring Georges Méliès. He was a pioneer of early cinematography.
In the film, the character Georges Méliès, played expertly by Ben Kingsley, told how he ended up in movies. Georges Méliès was a well known stage magician. He even owned his own theatre. This is a definite sign of success.
One day at a fair he saw his first film. He realized that the true magic rested in moviemaking. He sold his theatre and all of his movie props. What he couldn’t sell, he burned. He constructed his own movie production studio and became an early expert in an emerging artform.
A Lesson From The Bible
Consider a similar example from the Bible. Elijah was the Father of the Prophets. On one occasion he happened beside a farm being plowed by a man with team of twelve oxen. This means the farmer was very rich. His name was Elisha, which I know is close to Elijah, but don’t let that bother you.
Elijah wore a shawl that symbolized his authority. On this day, he draped the shawl over Elisha’s shoulders. Elisha took this as a call to be a prophet. He immediately slaughtered his dozen oxen and used to meat to feed the poor. He burned his plow and yolk before he left home and became a prophet alongside Elijah.
Proof Of Commitment
Both Georges Méliès and Elisha sacrificed a lucrative career for a special calling. One gave up an established state magicianship for movie magic, while the other walked away from profitable family farm to follow the divine calling to be a prophet of God.
Wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, planning and dreaming each night of success, that won’t get you World Domination. Wanting to take over world does not happen merely by the strength of our will. Sacrifices will be required.
You may not have to give up your job, but are you willing? If giving up what success you have already attained is required for you or I to take over the world, could we do it? Consider all of the time and effort you’ve put into your livelihood, as well as all the possessions and properties you purchased from this income.
This is not like giving up cocoa for lent. We’re talking about a sacrifice, something voluntarily forsaken in order to obtain something greater. And that which is sacrificed must be of great value and importance to us or it is not a real sacrifice.
Yet Another Lesson From The Bible
Consider one more account from the Bible. King David wished to purchase a certain piece of land – a threshing floor. The seller wanted so badly to get on David’s good side that he was willing to throw in a large number of cattle for free so that David could sacrifice them to God.
David’s response was remarkable: “I will not offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing.” He paid for the land and livestock. Both were given to God by David, the animals as sacrifices and the land as the property upon which one day the Jerusalem Temple would be built.
Every true sacrifice costs you something of great value to you or it is not a genuine sacrifice.
You and I both want to be successful writers, but are we willing to pay the price? What each of us must be willing to give up in order to succeed as a writer is unique and to the individual. The cost to you may be different than for me. I personally feel as we should be willing to sacrifice everything in our lives in order to be One of the one, with the exceptions of our faith and our family. Those two remain sacrosanct. A writer’s commitment is not for everybody, but for those who know, it’s the only way to fly. The sacrifices are real and cutting. It will cost you something important. But the payoff will be great.