Tag Archives: success

The Myth of the Overnight Success Story

If you’re anything like me you’ve been working on your novel (or a series of novels, or several stand-alone novels) for many, many years. And you probably have friends that know this. Or maybe they’re just coworkers and if they’re not the type of people who sit down and read or write then they’re not going to understand what takes you so long. The problem is that they are fooled by the myth of the overnight success story.

While I still worked for the same company I do now, in years previous I was in a different position and surrounded by people who didn’t read. They didn’t read. They didn’t write. And they most certainly didn’t understand the publishing industry, the literary market or the process. Hell, I don’t even think I understand the process sometimes as our world is ever-changing. The thing is a lot of people think that overnight success happens because it can seem like it does to certain individuals. It also doesn’t help that we live in a society that craves instant gratification.

No one ever sees all the years of struggle before that.

Amanda Hocking is a self-made millionaire. She wrote several YA novels. For years she submitted to publishers and received a whole shoe box full of rejection letters. But to keep all of those years spent devising plots and crafting characters from going to waste, she decided to self-publish on Amazon.com. At that time she was working a job that made under $30,000 a year. And all she wanted was a few hundred bucks to go see an event in a nearby town.

I believe she had seven novels written at the time. She posted all of them on Amazon around the same time. Within two years, she was a millionaire and a lot of people saw that as an overnight success. But again, no one takes into account the years she spent writing the novels and receiving the rejection letters.

Don’t let the myth of overnight success fool you.

Don’t get caught up in the belief that you’re going to write a book, put it out there, and wake up the next day to fame and fortune. That’s not how it works. Yet, a lot of people think  that’s what happens… when that never happens. It just appears that way from our angle. It appears that way standing on the outside, looking in.

In the end, when your friends or coworkers start questioning you as to what on earth takes you so long to accomplish your goals and dreams, remind yourself that at least you’re working towards something. Because people with that kind of attitude usually aren’t working towards anything in life. They are content to wake up, go to work, and come home. If they don’t understand that it takes time to be successful than they’re not working toward success themselves.