“A man becomes preeminent, he’s expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms… What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? Part of a team. Teamwork… Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. If his team don’t field… what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I’m goin’ out there for myself. But… I get nowhere unless the team wins.”
So I am quoting Robert De Niro as Al Capone in The Untouchables. Why? Well consider who you are and why you write. Most importantly, consider where you want to go with your writing career.
Enthusiasm for writing will be the one thing that keeps you going on those dark days when nothing is going right. At the same time, your team should be carefully selected and reliable. If they are doing their job, you are able to do your job with enthusiasm and creativity, allowing them to fill in the gaps around you.
Now enthusiasm in abundance can be a powerful tool. I have had those that joined my Street Team, ‘The Shikari’ purely because of my enthusiastic nature, only to leave at a later date because they came to realise that being in a group is not the same as being in a team where you are expected to contribute, no matter how little. I have enthusiasm, BECAUSE we are a team, BECAUSE I can rely on them to do their bit.
As you go through this writing journey, be careful who you select in your team. I have a mentor who is a fantastic man, and gives so much of himself to everybody, that you cannot help but be smothered with enthusiasm. I am still on a roll, and my 4th book, following a 2 hour brainstorming session with the man, and I have another 3 books lined up after, still directly related to our initial discussion!
I have an editor who by now knows my work better than I do. Not only that, I have a whole host of good friends who are also editors and would love to have a crack, also offering me advice. Beware the ones that read your story in good faith, and then stop, telling you ‘there’s a story in there somewhere’ and then asking for a huge fee to go any further. Yes I know there’s a story in there. Hellbounce placed well in 4 competitions so far, every competition it went in for. I am using some of these as beta readers, because they are polite and selfless, and they have enthusiasm.
Well meaning enthusiasm
For all of her faults, my late publisher had a lot of enthusiasm. I honestly believe she meant well, but I was glad to have taken most of the elements of my work back into my own hands. Aside from wanting to succeed, you have to put yourself in a position to succeed. Relying on others can be a good thing, but at the end of the day you are the one that has to make the big decisions. She gave me my first shot, however small. She pointed me in the right direction. She gave me enthusiasm.
That being said…. Agents… Publishers… hello! Here I am!
If you don’t buy into my enthusiasm for life, and for writing, it’s ok. I can offer an alternative view on things courtesy of everybody’s best buddy…. Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden: Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.
You want real, unashamed enthusiasm? Watch a bunch of US marines watching Frozen…
If you would like to join my Street Team, I am an undemanding master. I love a bit of enthusiasm. Can’t you tell? You can find us here. Just apply!
Hellbeast will be available to purchase on Amazon in the next few days, and to celebrate this fact, we are having a release party on October 10th/11th. There will be many prizes from many authors, some quite elaborate! Come and join the fun here.