OK, you’re probably looking at the title and wondering: what the heck do some stupid little crustaceans have to do with writing? Well, if they are living in your office, lots. Called by many names: crayfish, crawdads, and mud bugs; they are still a multi-legged creature that looks like a lobster that got tossed in a dryer and shrunk. Not much more than 3” long, they are tiny armed soldiers clambering around their rocky battle ground. And you’re still wondering what they have to do with writing? I’ll tell you.
Writers are like crawdads, we need to have a tough shell to handle the pressure, criticism, and general stigma of being an Indie author. No, most of us aren’t famous; but day after day we drone away on our keyboards creating masterpieces. It takes a tough shell to do what we do and keep our heads held high. From time to time crawdads molt their shells to grow; as writers this should signify growth in our profession. Taking the time to research and produce the best quality books we can. Growing by learning new skills such as marketing and branding (oh, that still sounds painful!) to help with our sales. Growth can be venturing into new genres or experimenting with non-fiction.
Writers need persistence. I’ve watched a crawdad in my tank work several minutes on how to get on top of a stone shelter. It tried several times, each falling off. Finally it managed to get to just the right spot and scrambled on top. The reward: some food tidbits that were left over from the morning’s feeding. Writers must persist in the face of adversity. Don’t worry about bad reviews—especially if that book is selling well. Haters are everywhere.
Writers need tenacity. I’ve observed the tiniest crawdad in the tank chase the biggest one out of the way. They act like little bulldozers, claws raised, tentacles whipping around to make themselves look bigger. But in reality, it’s the one who wants it the most will win the battle for right of way. It’s the same for authors. If you don’t have drive, you won’t succeed. Get up every morning, drink that cup of motivation, and say to yourself: I am going to kick some butt today!
Writers need claws! No, really, we do. Admittedly, it would be hard to type with them, but they are handy for self-defense. Have you ever been pinched by a crab, lobster, or crawdad? It hurts! Even the smallest ones can deliver a painful pinch. Why do we need claws? To give ourselves some defense in this cut-throat world of writing. They go hand in hand with the hard shells—to give us protection.
So, now you realize that Indie writers are like crawdads. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, but they all function the same. Our goal is to get our story out there and to stand by it. As Indies, we represent a threat to Big 6 publishing with our lower cost books and large selection. They can’t win the war if there’s too many of us. Remember: in a tank full of crawdads, it’s not the biggest ones that win.
All right, crawdads, get to work!