Words of wisdom, writers on writing, something to keep your minds busy while I’m away! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!
Like Delilah Dawson said in this very inspiring series of tweets – there’s no top of the mountain when it comes to writing/publishing. Even if I write the bestselling-est of bestsellers, I’ll probably write another book after that, no matter what. The writing, for me, is something I have to get out and process and create. It’s going to happen anyway. I need to write. Would it be great to get billions of people to read my books? Hell yes. But those are the possible perks, not the targets.
Burnout is a kind of creative constipation. You get tired of doing it. The work feels only like work. Clarity seems impossible. The stress outweighs the joy.
You’ll hit it. You might hit it early in your career trying to get published. You might hit it in the middle of your career after all the business baggage has been slung over your shoulders. If you’re me, you might bump up against it again and again with the standard peaks and valleys of the authorial life. I periodically run parallel to burnout like someone running alongside the ocean — if I turn my head just so I can see the shark fins, I can see the rippling lines of a threatening undertow, I can see the SURLY OCTOPUSES OF ENNUI THREATENING TO ENROBE ME IN THEIR TENTACLES AND DROWN ME IN THE BUBBLING DEPTHS OF MY OWN LASSITUDE.
Question is, what do I do about the OCTOPUSES OF ENNUI?
As my nemesis Jaye points out, you’ve got options. Nab a new hobby. Take up yoga or meditation. I like photography, as you might see with my Macro Monday experiments. Take a walk. Take a vacation. Have an adventure. Vent frustrations with fellow writers (seriously, this can be a huge help). Punch a punching bag painted to look like the politician of your choice.
All of those are good at scraping some of the barnacles off.
Authors as a group tend to have a “don’t rock the boat” attitude. And with good reason; rock the boat, and the captain kicks you out.
But if you say nothing, nothing changes.
In this business, as in life, no one is going to just hand you anything. Because none of us deserve anything. You have to work hard, and fight for whatever you can get. Fighting for something when the outcome is uncertain is a scary thing. That’s the definition of bravery.
So many writers come to class with one question dominant in their mind. “How do I make a living from this?”… it saddens me that it so often overshadows the more relevant questions of “Why am I writing” and “What am I saying” and “How do I keep it honest.”
– Celine Kiernan
I really want writers to start thinking like long-term professionals. Learn copyright and don’t sell all your rights to a traditional publisher.
And don’t only sell your book in one store.
And have more than one or two products to sell.
You will be stunned at how small, seemingly below-notice cash streams can add up into larger numbers over time.
So today was fun for me, as I said at the top, because two new cash streams started up just today. Two in one day.
In my world, that’s a fun day. (grin)