How to Become a Famous Writer

Daily Prompt Someone Else’s Island We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?

Jennifer Chiaverini was not initially a writer of historical fiction. She was a writing instructor (good degrees) and she wrote books about quilting. These books were compelling to a certain audience so, it would seem that the way the abysmal read of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker ended up such a mega-seller was that Chiaverini’s platform was well built and solid. People had enjoyed her quilt novels the Elm Creek Quilt series. And her quilt patterns.

I’m left remembering a day I was riding my mountain bike and trying to watch a red tail hawk soar at the same time. Obviously I landed in the bush. I’d been reveling in the fact that riding a mountain bike down a gently sloped single track felt like flying when I’d seen the bird. I’d once thought that the red tail hawk was my, I dunno, spirit brother? I may have been right because at the moment I fell, I KNEW that I should have been doing AS the hawk was doing (watching intently) not WHAT the hawk was doing (flying).

That’s where I am now. I need to do AS Chiarverini has done (build a readership) not WHAT (write badly). How am I going to do that? I realized this morning when I got up that I AM doing that here on WordPress. I can do it more aggressively by coming up with a book people might want to read. Both my novels are very readable, but they are out of the mainstream in terms of place and time. I think I have the power to fix that. I need to write something that could be published conventionally. I have the story already, I think.

Oh as for this daily prompt? I’d give my friend a ticket home. Obviously. And a portable water filtration/purification system. A medical kit. Swiss Army knife.


A towel.

23 thoughts on “How to Become a Famous Writer

  1. While recovering from this awful cold/flu, I have been resting in a recliner with DVDs playing. Two of the Harry Potter movies played and afterward my husband and I had a short conversation of how successful J.K. Rowling was with the entire series.

    I have not read any of the HP books but assume that J.K. is a very good writer, but beyond that, she found a niche that was like finding a buried treasure. Who could have predicted that kind of success based on just that first story? There was a market for it and she was marketed successfully.

    Another mystery to me was the whole Twilight series of books and movies – not comparable to the Harry Potter stories, but, they were successful. Out of curiosity, I did read one of those novels and nearly vomited from how juvenile the style of writing until I realized for “whom” those books were targeted.

    I think there is another ingredient to finding success as an author, I surely do not speak from experience, but, you certainly have the artistic qualifications as a beautiful writer and I think you are on the right track with writing another book in a different genre. All it takes is one success to make your name familiar as an author.

    • That’s what I think. I’m working on a series right now and I think I’m going to jump ahead to the story that would have mass appeal in the US. That and write a romance novel about a woman with “body image issues” who needs to learn to be grateful she has a functioning body and we’re not in high school forever. Ooops! Gave away “the moral of the story.” 🙂

      • I think you are right though. When I used to read on a regular basis – haven’t been an avid reader for years – I used to read books recommended by the NY Times. Since then, I occasionally look at what is on the list of best sellers and sometimes have to shake my head, wondering what is going on!

        I did not read the 50 Shades of Grey book/s but heard that it’s genre could be described as “mommy porn.” Ugh!

        Anyway, I think you are definitely on the right track and just from what I know about you from your blog, you are quite a woman and will succeed famously! 😀

      • Thanks for the moral support — I have to give it a shot, if for no other reason than to give Martin of Gfenn a better shot. 🙂

        Mommy porn???? :O

      • It actually has a legitimate definition, created just because of that book? I didn’t realize THAT.

        So, you have your work cut out for you now. Write a book, a series, wherein you create your own, popular genre which people will search out its definition at 😀

  2. Thanks for not telling me about the relations and friends you no longer need, by sending them on an island. I will be following your writing developments and in the meanwhile am carving a new blog with a Swiss Army Knife.

    • I love my friends and don’t have a lot of them, so the last thing I’m going to do is send any of them to a desert island…

      As for the Swiss Army knife, it’s the ONLY piece of cutlery in my house at the moment — wait, no. My friend gave me a bread knife last weekend. I’ve done fine just with the Swiss Army knife putting stuff together, opening boxes, cutting apples.

  3. Today’s prompt has got to have been the MOST boring yet. Not even silly or stupid. Just totally dull.

    Now, about your writing. You are really GOOD. Write a mystery or a thriller or urban fantasy. Those seem to be what’s selling these days. It’s just the setting. You can set a story anywhere, right? And a made up world has got to be on some level, easier since you own it, lock, stock, and traffic jams. I think you have a best-seller in you waiting to be born. Just my opinion, of course, but I think you’ve got “it.” You just haven’t figured out exactly how to market it.

    • Thank you!!!! I will figure this out. I have to — otherwise it’s going to be one well-written self-published novel after another and that’s NOT what I want. Well, there is my winter work — lose 20 pounds and write a best seller. 😉

      • Worry less about the diet and more about the book. Writing is so engrossing you’ll forget to eat and lose the weight anyhow.

        Congratulations on your snow. Isn’t it fortunately that unlike real snow, it doesn’t accumulate? After a while, we would have no blog, just a big white pile of snow.

  4. Hello Martha! I am delighted to be here. I enjoy the way you’ve weaved your thoughts on being a famous writer with the prompt. I am interested because I would love to be a famous writer myself; but it’s definitely more difficult when you come from where I come from. But I am not going to be giving excuses instead of looking for ways to make it work. I am sure if I follow your blog I’ll get quite some good hints on becoming a famous writer; so you can expect to have me here again. Many thanks, indeed.

  5. I want to be a famous writer too! But I can only write poetry and a children’s book which has yes to be illustrated – it is not a book until it has illustrations. Best wishes on your writing endeavors. I do enjoy your style of writing 🙂

  6. Martha, I hope you can find the secret ingredient to be snapped up and published. I think it is like a lottery, and a fair amount of luck is involved! I wish you that luck, as I know you have the ability and work ethic. ❤

    • I agree with you about luck — I think that’s a far more important ingredient in the mix of life than many people like to admit.

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