Do More of What You're Good At

We’re all authors, and we all have different gifts.

Some think this means compete in every arena. She writes great descriptions, and so must I. He’s killing it with Facebook ads, and so must I. They’re writing vampires now, and so must I. On and on, this week in the Colosseum to battle a lion, next week in the frozen north to battle a bear.

But you just don’t have to be great at everything to have a great career. Yes, you do need to be great at a few things. But there’s only one thing we’ve all got to be great at, and that’s picking which battles to fight. The question is, how can you put your best qualities to their greatest use?

What are you best craft skills? Which genres prize those skills? What story structures will allow those qualities to shine? Which forms of marketing come the most naturally? Are you better with people? Go to conferences. Do you have a head for numbers? Get good at ads. What skills do you have that most authors don’t? Illustration? Wood-carving? Programming? Whatever they are, by all means, use them!

At the same time, avoid any death-matches you’ll lose. Write books that make the most of your talents. Enter competitions that reward your strengths. Participate in marketing channels, social media platforms, or group initiatives where the odds are in your favor. And in those battles where there’s no choice but to fight, conceal those Achilles’ heels and outsource!