Every year during July, two events consume all of my attention. The first is the Tour de France. Since my husband and I are both cyclists (well, me not so much lately!) we’ve been obsessed with this grueling bike race for the last six or seven years. What I love about the Tour is that, to win, it’s not enough to be fast. You have to have skills in all aspects of road racing—time trailing, sprinting and climbing mountains. You have to be tough and resilient. That means three weeks of hours in the saddle, no matter the weather. You have to stay healthy. One bad day is enough to ruin your time. You have to be attentive riding inches from other riders and hurtling down mountains at 50 m.p.h., so you don’t crash.
But even heroic individual effort isn’t enough. You have to have a team, and you all have to be willing to work together, help each other get over the mountains or lead out a sprinter or travel back to the team car to get water bottles.
I guess the Tour is a lot like writing! Great writing alone isn’t enough to build a career. You have to have many skills—plotting, characters, a compelling voice, and being in tune with the market. You have to be consistent (which means writing every day even when you don’t feel like it). You have to be able to market your work.
And there’s the teamwork. I wouldn’t have sold any books without the help of my critique group, my agent, the RWA, the various editors I’ve worked with, my family, the people who print the books, distribute them, sell them, buy them. No one does it alone!
Oh, the second July event that consumes me? The RWA conference, which is sort of like our Grand Tour. It’s always fun to see who wins our “yellow jersey,” the Rita and Golden Heart awards.
PLEASE NOTE: I’m hosting a contest this month with fellow American author Victoria Chancellor. To enter, visit my website (www.karalennox.com) and click on the contest button. We’re giving away some nice prizes.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: I haven’t received an email from the blog prize winner of last month. My e-mail server has been randomly sending emails to the trash without my ever seeing them, so please try again! Karalennox [at] yahoo.com