The Next Level

One of the most overused and tiring phrases in publishing is "getting to the next level." I talk about it with myself on a daily basis. I heard it discussed for years in meetings and with authors. It's a tough thing, getting to that next level.

Here's the thing, however.

The day I stop trying to get to the next level--or the day any author stops trying--should be the day they give up writing for publication. If they want to write for themselves, that's fine. But every single novel is a chance and an opportunity.

The next level isn't just about sales. Oh, don't get me wrong. It's primarily about sales. But it's also about a connection with readers.

I can say this as a promise. I've always tried to do something better and more unique and more sales worthy with each project I've done. Am I doing a good job? Am I regressing? Am I just on the cusp of getting to that next level? Am I a day away from asking customers if they'd like hot or mild sauce with their burritos?

That's the question I continually ask myself over and over again. Sometimes I push too far. Sometimes I push in the wrong direction. Sometimes I simply get it wrong. But I'm trying, just like so many authors.

I don't believe in luck. But I do believe that you can have the right idea at the right time and tell it in the right way. And if the right things happen, you might just be fortunate to find that next level, whatever level that might be.

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