Hi! I'm Joe, and I'm a writer.

How to actually become a famous, best-selling author

published10 months ago
3 min read

Hey Reader,

Starting new things—like a writing career for example—doesn't happen like you expect.

You expect success to happen over night. You expect to work really hard privately and then when you're finally ready to share your work with the world, when you've finally written the book or made the product or done the hard thing, you expect everyone to be so impressed with you that you instantly become famous, a best-selling author, a world-renowned expert, a pro.

But no.

What actually happens is no one really notices the thing you worked so hard on, and the few who do aren't that impressed.

My Story

Take the YouTube channel I started a few months ago. I spent hours and hours recording, editing, researching, and finally publishing the first video.

Fewer than 100 people watched it.

If I didn't already have a large following, it would have been even less.

It didn't get better the next week, or even the next month. I've spent over 100 hours crafting videos, painstakingly transcribing and editing them, designing cover images, and writing descriptions to get the most viewership.

Many of them still have less than 100 views.

And I'm ok with it actually.

Starting Small Is Great

Fifteen years ago, I would have been hurt by such a small turn out, discouraged, thinking about quitting.

But now, I see these first months as chances to practice publishing. I get to work on my craft. I get to make my videos better, the content better in a small setting where there's less fear of failure.

Fifteen years ago, I didn't know then what I know now, that it can take years to build even a small following. But the most important work you do in your life might happen when very few people are looking.

How It Grows

You start with a handful then that turns into a dozen which turns into 100 which turns into 500 and so on.

But the first 500 people are harder to get than the following 2500.

This is true whether you want to become a best-selling author, a YouTube personality, an entreprenuer, an actor, or anything really.

What This Means For You

You can't wait to start sharing your work with the world.

The sooner you start, the sooner you can start making progress. So share before it's perfect (because it will never be perfect).

Share as practice, because you need practice in publishing as much as you need practice in your work.

Share because it will take years of sharing, so you might as well stop waiting and start doing the thing.

Today, my YouTube channel got it's 800th subscriber (have you subscribed yet, by the way—why not do it now).

My last video got 500 views.

It's starting to happen.

At the beginning of the year, I made it my goal to get to 1000 subscribers by the end of 2022. I might hit that goal later this month, 8 months early.

I'm actually little sad about it.

I cherish this time. After building things to millions of people, starting something small and new is so fun and exciting. Every new subscriber is a celebration. Every view feels like progress.

So for you, enjoy the process.

Start small, start early.

Start a business, begin a new career, get started on that book, share something you've written. Any kind of success will take longer than you think.

The sooner you begin, the better.

What are you waiting for?

This Week in Photos

Spring is in full force, and with it spring cleaning. Between meetings and kids activities, we've been scrubbing the floors on our hands and knees, throwing away old toys and clothes, and getting the house, guest house, and airstream ready for guests. It's been a long week, but now that the weekend is here, we're ready to celebrate.

There are few moments as perfect as a negroni beside the first blooms of spring.
I made these almond praline cookies that some people in my family said were some of the best cookies that they'd ever eaten. (I thought they were just ok—just about perfect texture but I need to work on the flavor.) It was a challenging recipe but lots of fun!
Kids need their grandparents! My parents are visiting this week, and it's so fun to see how they interract with my kids. Multi-generational families are a rare gift.

Alright folks, that's it from me. Have a great weekend, and see you soon.