B is for Big Time

Posted: May 9, 2016 by ajbrown in Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

Today, we talk about Big Time, as in B is for Big Time.

If you know me at all, then you know I am a huge fan of a local band here in Columbia called, Prettier Than Matt. Over the last year or so, my wife and I have seen them perform over two dozen times. Recently, they released a new CD titled, Better Left Said. It’s great. You should check it out. But PTM isn’t what this piece is about.

Stick with me for a minute because something Jeff Pitts (of PTM) said in an interview made me stop, rewind it back and say, ‘can you repeat that,’ to which he did because I had rewound it. The statement was in regards to the first single off the new album. Here it is:

“I think if you are going to push a single properly, even if you are not necessarily a big band, you need to treat yourself like you are a big band.”

For the sake of this, let me rewind this back so you can read it again:

“I think if you are going to push a single properly, even if you are not necessarily a big band, you need to treat yourself like you are a big band.”

After listening to that statement a few times I sat back and stared out into Nothingville for a while. Essentially, he was saying, you have to act like you belong with the big boys and girls out there. You have to take yourself seriously enough to say, ‘I’m going to do this right and it’s going to be amazing.’ You can’t look at yourself as the low man or woman on the totem pole. You have to believe that you are Big Time, even if you only play to three people on the side of the road one day.

Profound.

I contacted Jeff to see if I could use the statement and change it around to fit my needs a little. Being the total awesomeness that he is, he said sure, go ahead. That lead to an a-ha moment for me. Here it is:

“I think if you are going to push a book properly, even if you are not necessarily a big named author, you need to treat yourself like you are a big named author.”

Mic drop. Walk away. There’s nothing else to see here; nothing else to say…

Wait. Let pick the mic back up. We’re not done yet.

As a writer, I’ve been doing it all wrong. I’ve been saying, here I am and hoping people will notice me. That’s the wrong mindset. The right mindset is saying, here I am and expecting people to notice me. If a person approaches an endeavor with the attitude of I’ll give it a go and if it doesn’t work, oh well, then most of the time it’s not going to work. Oh well.

No. No. No. No. NO. NO. NO! NO! NO!!!!!!!

NO!

Listen. If you want to get anywhere in this business you need confidence in yourself. You need to say: ‘Self, I am Big Time.’ Even if you aren’t, tell yourself you are. Believe you are. Strive to become what you want to be by having the confidence to believe in yourself. I tell people all the time, if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. People follow others who exude confidence, even if their confidence is made up and only in their heads.

But, really, this isn’t about following leaders. It’s about following dreams, and if you are going to do that, then you need to believe you can accomplish that dream. Treating yourself like you are  Big Time can go along way to realizing that dream.

But what is Big Time? Well, if you are a writer, it is being able to make a good living off of your words. It is name recognition. It’s having someone say, ‘aren’t you the guy who wrote the book?’ And then it is you being able to say, ‘Yes, I am that guy.’ You’re not going to get to that point by just hoping things will happen. You have to make them happen, which means you have to work.

If you know me, then you know I don’t care much for lazy people. Lazy people don’t generally make it in this business because, simply put: this business is a lot of work. Making it happen requires doing more than just talking about it. It is doing it. It is managing your time wisely and getting the most out of it.

Big Time takes effort, but it also takes desire and passion. Have you ever noticed folks who are passionate about something generally go all in? When you are passionate about something you go full tilt, guns blazing, and you throw everything you have into it. Passion will drive you to do a lot of things you didn’t think was possible. Like, write a story, then edit it, then re-edit it and then re-re-edit it before researching a market for it. Then submit it and wait (be patient, this process takes a while) and then hopefully get picked up. Then there are the edits the publisher does and the marketing and more marketing and even more marketing. It’s not easy, but if you want to be Big Time then you are going to have to go all in. All or nothing, Baby, and that is the bottom line.

If you want to be Big Time then do things that make you feel Big Time. And don’t be a wall flower. This is your work. Sell it. Sell you. Make people want to buy your books. Put the time in to make them good, but also put the time in to promote them. Develop a strategy and go out and put that strategy in motion. You are the biggest supporter of you. Remember that. If you aren’t supporting your cause, then no one else will.

Here’s something else to remember: be yourself, be genuine. Don’t be like everyone else. Don’t be like your idols. Don’t be a cookie cutter writer. Instead, break the mold and do things your way. Literally, think outside of the box. You have to set yourself apart from everyone else. Write differently. Market differently. Be different. How do you do all of that? That’s not for me to say. Everyone has to figure it out on their own and in their own timing. However you do it, just do it. Most importantly, do it right. Don’t rush things just because you want to get something published–it is better to have one very good work out than ten subpar works. Quality is always more important than quality. Do it right from beginning to end.

You’ve heard this term before, but if you want to be Big Time, you really do have to go big or go home. For me, well, I’m all in and I’m going big. Why? Because Big Time is calling me.

Until we meet again my friends, be kind to one another.

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Comments
  1. pisaticreations says:

    Encouraging words.
    Thanks!!!

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