Not to duplicate someone else’s path, but to emulate their successful trajectory and get a good idea of where they think their own career is going–and to make sure this matches my vision for their career.
Margaret Atwood: Writer of serious nonfiction, fiction, literary advocate and champion of libraries.
Jeffrey Eugenidies: Write one book every ten years.
Harper Lee: Write one timeless book.
Danielle Steel: Write one book a year.
John le Carre: Write with a pseudonym (his real name is David John Moore Cornwell).
J.K. Rowling: Create a blockbuster franchise! But, also go it alone in the ebook world.
Raymond Chandler: Master of pulp fiction.
Try to peel away the layers to see how they got there. There is no singular path to publication or the type of career you wish to pursue. And in that pursuit you might be taken in a different direction altogether, but when you start to picture yourself within the canon you want to grow into the steps seem smaller and more attainable.
There are many career and genre styles in between these! What’s your trajectory?