Most people like to be good at what they do. Even more, people like to be naturally good at what they do. Though many people have natural aptitudes for certain sports or jobs, the step from good to great is never a natural one.
When you consider your favorite authors, you may think they have a natural gift of storytelling. You picture them vigorously typing away, the words spewing out of them in brilliant, eloquent prose. But I assure you, this isn’t the case. Good writers can come by it naturally. Great writers need practice.
This doesn’t stop with writing the book. The same goes for public speaking, a social media presence, and pitching media. The first few times you do it, you’ll be fine. Maybe you’ll even be good. But get a standing ovation after a keynote speech, to get your Twitter feed mentioned on Huffington Post or Galley Cat, to land a review in the NYT or a guest spot on NPR, you’re going to need practice.
The idea that people are naturally great without work or effort is a fallacy. It’s the people who work hard, practice, and never give up that are truly great. So whether it’s rewriting your novel a dozen times, or querying 100 agents, or practicing a talk for hours in front of the mirror, the practice will pay off. Don’t be discouraged if greatness doesn’t come instantly. I can say for a fact that it never does.