Advice I got from Candace Bushnell
On the eve of the publication of my debut novel Dead Frog on the Porch I got some advice from Candace Bushnell, celebrated author of Sex and the City (and numerous other novels). She was speaking at an entrepreneurial/motivational conference in Calgary, Alberta called the Business of Bliss Live a Life you Love.
It was put on by a group called the Glinda Girls - Business women who are "Creators of Cool and Purveyors of Possibility." There were a number of motivational speakers including the MC Peter Walsh, who works on the Oprah Winfrey Show and The Learning Channel's show Clean Sweep. Other speakers included life coach and author Martha Beck, entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Danielle LaPorte, and visionary entrepreneur Ben Barry who started his own modeling agency when he was 14 and continues to change the face of fashion. Local entrepreneur Jane Walter, creator of the company organicKidz which produces stainless steel baby bottles, was recognized for the overwhelming success of her new company. It was a truly fabulous day and the speakers were inspirational.
Candace spoke about her process of writing, and I was happy to hear that she Sasquatches herself. She mentioned that she just spent the last ten days in her cottage writing. She would write for up to eight hours a day and then collapse on the couch to watch Dr. Phil and Judge Judy. She also talked about the lean days, and how she was a writer for more than a decade before she had her first book published.
I asked her if she had any advice for me, a debut author, on the eve of the publication of my first novel. Her answer: "Don't have too many expectations." She explained that she didn't mean to be discouraging, but that you shouldn't have high expectations for your first book. She recounted the moment when the galleys from Sex and the City arrived for her to review, and she exclaimed in despair: "Where is my red carpet moment!" She said I should celebrate moments in the process of writing, like when I finished the book and found out it was going to be published. Those were my red carpet moments. She said that "success comes from commitment - commitment to the kraft and art of writing, and commitment to the writing itself. Aspire to write a great book." Excellent advice.