Say This Three Times Fast: “Tenacious Accountabillibuddies Build Empires!”
by Silver Webb
They say, “do what you love and the money will follow.” Well, some people say that.
My mother says, “You should get a job at the bank and work your way up to manager.” I am here to affirm that it is perfectly possible to do what you love, pour your passion into your art, and find that no money follows, not even a penny.
But it is also possible to become a paid writer or artist. The catch is that it takes an enormous amount of effort. Like more work than you will ever put into a 9-to-5 job. I am a blogger, food writer, novelist, and editor. Some of these things pay. Some do not. And they are the reason I am lucky to get seven hours of sleep a night. I have been working on my current novel for five years, and at some point in the near future, my friends are going to band together and *pay* me to stop working on it.
I also blog about my life adventures (visit me at silverwebb.com), eating good food, taking pretty pictures, and turning it into a narrative that I hope readers enjoy. That might be the sum story of me. An editor who has the delightful hobby of writing.
But. BUT! I have two things going for me that assure that my path ascends higher: a refusal to give up and an accountabillibuddy named Yvette Keller, who has kindly invited me to write this guest blog here on her website.
The tenacity part is self-evident. It takes tenacity to query 60 agents about your book. Tenacity to keep revising and writing, even in the face of “your book is not a good fit for the agency at this time.” And more tenacity to keep pitching article ideas to editors.
I was fortunate enough (or tenacious enough, you decide) to develop a working relationship with the editor of a local food magazine, and over the last year and a half have become a regular, paid contributor. It wasn’t anything more dramatic than sending an email asking if I could write an article for him…but that one reply with “sure you can write an article” came after a lot of “no” emails from agents and editors. Now I am writing some new articles on spec that I will begin to pitch to national magazines. I expect there will be a lot of “no’s”…but if I keep at it, I bet you there will be one “yes” and then another and then another.
So, that’s tenacity sorted. My other secret weapon, as mentioned, is my accountabillibuddy Yvette. She is my buddy in accountability. It sounds terribly unglamorous, like something you have in a 12-step program. And it *is* terribly unglamorous in that empires are built on heavy bricks that you have to keep laying day-by-by. But it is wonderful to have support.
We coordinate and discuss our goals, check in on each other’s progress, brainstorm on ways those goals can happen more quickly, offer help when we can, read each other’s work, give feedback, and encourage the heck out of each other to keep going. At least once a week we sit down and evaluate, usually with tea and treats in hand. If you read Yvette’s fabulous newsletter or my blog (where Yvette goes by the moniker First Lady of Frosting, or FLOF), you’ll also get the picture that we have a lot of fun! Usually baking, occasionally sipping cider, often in costume, and always, always writing.
Over the last year, with tenacity and a LOT of work, Yvette turned a great voice and a microphone into a career of audio book narrator, created her amazing website, published one of her short stories, polished even more stories, edited books, blogged every week, and constructed the bones of her forthcoming novel. And that’s just Year One. I couldn’t be prouder of her, or more thankful.
So that’s my advice for anyone reading this who has talent and a dream. Work hard. Be tenacious. And find yourself a buddy to help you build that empire!