Opportunityis a pimp byJoe SchwartzOpportunity is a pimp. He will not wait for you and expects you to be ready regardlessthe time or inconvenience. There is rarely a second chance with opportunity. He willexpect you to wordlessly follow wherever he may take you, despite what your reservations may be. The primary thing to remember with opportunity is that he expectsyou to make money for him. If you can't do that, maybe it's time to find a new career.Sound harsh? It is. To be a professional writer, or any style of artist, you must have adevotion to your craft that is unquestionable. You must be willing to go anywhere, meetanybody, forgo sleep and food should it bring you even one step closer to your goal. For some, the road is easy, but those fortunate few are truly the exception to the rule. The restof us mortals find that in addition to our forty-hour work week that we are focused on our art an additional ten to fifteen hours. This includes writing, editing, book signings,research, query letters, meeting other writers either in person or virtually, and spreadingthe gospel that is your work with flyers, bookstore consignments, and the Internet. If youhave a spouse and children, you may add a minimum five hours due to the inevitableinterruption factor.It took a year of sleep deprivation to complete your version of the great American novel.Your family and friends all say its wonderful, a real writer in the family, we couldn't bemore proud. Does the expression ‘standing in a garage doesn't make you a Cadillac’ ringany bells? The people closest to you are the worst critics of your work. They love you,which is wonderful, but it is not especially helpful. Until you find an editor, opportunitydoesn't even know where you live.Editors are soulless beasts that roam the earth and live to devour inexperienced writer’smanuscripts. Okay, so that is a little over the top, yet if you think your work is wonderful, perfect, the next 'Great Gatsby' waiting to be discovered like a beautiful starlet on theSunset Strip, good luck with that. Most novels have been vigorously edited and mostnovelists, including Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck, have had editors. Great menand women who names if listed would be unrecognizable as names in a phone book. That being said a good writer and a good editor can make a terrific novel together. Don't befooled though, it is work, hard work that will tax body, mind, soul. You will question anddoubt yourself, your editor, and maybe even wonder why in the hell you ever thought youcould do this anyway. Then one day it is done. No more re-writes, no more red ink toslosh through. Now what?If you dislike the word no, stop now.