It doesn’t take many Internet searches to find promises that whatever you want is achievable in a few easy steps. The promises imply you can have money flowing in almost instantly, sell millions of books, lose weight without effort, or never have to work more than a few hours a week to support your family.
The promises are enticing. And maybe for the right person, following the exact formula, the promises are true.
In most cases, the promises for instant results ignore a major detail: the amount of work it took the person selling the promise to get to where they assure you can be in “five easy steps.”
The instant gratification our culture demands robs us of the beauty of discovering our processes to reach the vision we have for ourselves. It takes away from learning how we need to work and robs us of joy. It fosters impatience.
From my observation of successful fiction writers (ones who have written many books for over twenty-plus years), few were an overnight success. They didn’t have instant sales by following “five easy steps.” They logged the time required to write the story, learned the business skills they needed, faced rejection, struggled with uncertainty, kept trying, and eventually published their book. Then they started again.
Building a fiction writing career requires a long-term perspective. It’s a slow process that requires overcoming mental obstacles, trusting yourself, and being patient as you write the next book and then the next one.
It doesn’t matter how fast you write or create art. It doesn’t matter what other things you have going on in your life. What matters is that you make the time to move forward on the vision you have for your creative career as regularly as you can.
Your stories matter. Your art matters.
Isn’t it worth giving yourself the grace to develop your process in as many steps as it takes, in as much time as it takes?