Hey friends. Today I get the honor of hosting an uplifting guest piece from Stuart R. Brogan, who’s latest book, Jackals, is leaving a trail of blood splatter through my kindle at this very moment. The Long Hard Slog is a great piece that speaks for itself, so I am going to step aside and let it. Thank you, Mr. Brogan, for your time, the floor is yours and yours alone…
The Long Hard Slog By Stuart R Brogan
To some of the more uneducated and unenlightened among budding authors, there seems to be a myth that writing, and releasing books, is a short cut to fame and untold wealth, a veritable buffet of fine possessions awaits and it is a passport to riches. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule but for the most part, most of us are struggling to get our voices heard it is nothing more than a long hard slog. The stark hard truth is that most of us will only sell a handful of books, let alone reach the lofty heights of superstardom. That’s not to say of course that we shouldn’t try. In fact, it would be foolhardy not to give our all and in truth, if you don’t give everything, then you don’t actually deserve to obtain it anyway.
I know what you are thinking, I’m being harsh, possibly abrasive but I am a realist. As much as my heart yearns for that “one big break” that will catapult my career into the stratosphere, I understand and fully acknowledge that I am a mere single blade of grass lost among a field.
There are so many talented and fantastic authors out there touting their wears, it is mere folly to assume that we are the very best in our chosen genre and without equal, but one must always have faith in our own abilities without sounding arrogant or belittling others.
As with everything, there is a flip side. In the modern digital age, it is fantastic to see a real community amongst genre authors. I write both action/horror and Pagan related non-fiction and I have to say, I am personally blown away by the help offered by other authors and people within the industry. But like any business, there are those that are dubious of nature and we must tread carefully.
Of course, I suspect that every author believes that he/she is a tad better than everyone else and to be honest that is expected and perfectly normal, but how we act regarding our dealings with others is the true testament of our character not the works we write and release. I have been lucky to be on the receiving end of such help and advice and I have to say, it is/was an amazing feeling knowing that others are willing to donate their personal time and knowledge to someone just taking their first steps as an author.
So how can we get our voices heard above the maelstrom and cacophony of struggling writers? In truth, it is in part down to personal belief and cast iron personal will. We have to take risks and continually push ourselves to become the very best we can be. I was once given the advice to read as much as possible, to cast my net wide and absorb as much literature as possible from a plethora of different styles. Some of these genres are well outside my normal reading scope but again, I have to say I have learnt a fair bit regarding sentence structure or descriptive prowess. Authors that I would never have dreamed of reading opened my eyes to sublime tales that opened doorways and rewired some of my writing habits. I think now (looking back) it was common sense to engage in such pursuits. I was too naïve to see it, but happy now that I did.
Of course, the modern technological age has allowed us to connect with other likeminded souls who are also walking the fine line between madness and greatness. It has given us the tools to produce and unleash our own horrors upon the world and toss helpless readers into the stygian darkness. And this, fellow author, is a good thing indeed.
Social media and the constant bombardment of releases is the battleground of modern literature, it is the field upon which we must face our fears and strive forward with even greater resolve and self-belief, for if we don’t tame this beast and use it to our own advantage, then we may very well find ourselves swamped by an ever-increasing tidal wave of competitors.
It all sounds rather dramatic, doesn’t it? Comparing our writing careers to all out warfare, but I am a firm believer that it is of the same importance and we should focus all of our energies into achieving our hearts desire, and as such, take it very seriously indeed. That’s not to say we should lose all semblance of enjoyment and fun, but we must give 100% dedication if we are too succeed.
So, my friends- make contacts via social media sites, keep emailing those agents and publishing houses, learn new skills and build on existing ones. First, we must realise our weaknesses, then visualise our intended goal and finally we shall witness the realisation of our dreams. But never forget that you are in for one hell of ride and up against the very best. Some of which may very well be better but when all is said and done, it is our fighting spirit that will see us through and believe me when I say…..
I’m not going down without a fight. – SRB
About Stuart R. Brogan
Harley lover, extreme metal drummer and avid movie nerd, Stuart has never followed the crowd but instead carved his own path and danced to his own tune. Since his early years Stuart found escapism in both the written word and the silver screen. A huge fan of 80’s Action / Horror movies such as The Thing , Aliens , Predator & Die Hard and literary heroes such as Shaun Hutson , Clive Barker. Richard Layman and Brian Lumley, Stuart endeavours to bring an unapologetic cinematic eye to his fiction in the hopes of rekindling his childhood sense of wonder, all whilst blowing through vast amounts of ammunition down his local shooting range.
Stuart currently resides in Glastonbury , UK with his long suffering Wife and man eating Shih-Poo dog “Poppy” where he co-owns a kick ass Viking / Asatru shop, fiercely named “Shield Maiden”
And while you’re here, check out The Ex Libris The Eyes of Madness, stop by and say hello.