Either this or nothing… so words of wisdom, writers on writing, take your pick! Have a great Sunday!
And my plan looks a little something like this:
I try to figure out what my next year looks like.
And the year after that.
Then, five years.
Then, ten years.
This isn’t just about what books I want to write. It’s about where I want to be in my career. It’s about what kind of money I hope to be making, how I might evolve myself as an author, what sassy dance moves I might perform if I am ever mistakenly given an award. Really, you can have nearly any goal you’d like, reasonable or not — “I want to be published by Rangdom Panguinhaus. I want a short story published in Corklin’s Literary Salon. I would like to write a comic book or a video game or the marketing copy for a sex toy company. I would also like to quit my full-time job, be a bestseller, and have a trained marmoset to fetch me my feather and quill every morning!”
(Note: it’s better to have goals you can control rather than goals you can’t.)
(Note: it’s still fun to mentally identify goals about things you can’t control anyway.)
– Chuck Wendig
Tust me, folks, I am not immune from this in the slightest. When I realize that one of my books or series is selling better than others, and yet I am firing up a book that is in the poor-selling series, I hear myself ask that question.
How I get around it is tell that tiny part of my critical voice that is trying to stop me that maybe this book in this lower-selling series will be the one that explodes. That answers the question, “What’s the point.”
And makes the critical voice crawl away whimpering.
But realize, I’ve been doing this a very long time, I never read reviews of my work, and I do not follow any sales numbers or bestseller lists. Yet this still creeps in at times because one of the wonderful things we have about this new world is immediate information on sales.
A real double-edged sword if I have ever seen one.
– Dean Wesley Smith
On one site, an anonymous commenter took me to task for the use of the word “artist.” He hated it in the context of writing. (I have no idea why.)
I admit: that stunned me. I’m a writer. That’s who I am. As a writer, I am both a craftsperson and an artist. I constantly strive to get better. I produce the best work I possibly can, and I always feel like I’m dancing on the head of a pin, trying to get something right.
Not the “right” of the marketplace. But the kind of right that Stephen King refers to in his introduction to Bazaar of Bad Dreams [Scribner, 2015, p. 2]:
I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy, a soul-deep fear that I will be unable to bridge the gap between a great idea and the realization of that idea’s potential. What that comes down to, in plain English, is that the finished product never seems quite as good as the splendid idea that rose from the subconscious one day, along with the excited thought, Ah, man! I gotta write this right away!
Honestly, the “right” that King defines here—getting it right as in realizing its potential—is the kind of thing an artist and a craftsperson cares about. The best way to write an idea is personal. Only King knows what that splendid idea actually was, and what he was trying to capture. Just like I’m the only one who knows what I’m trying to capture when I write some of my splendid ideas.
– Kris Rusch
To everyone who is new to publishing and living the indie writing lifestyle: It’s not possible to do it all. I will say it again for myself so that I can remember this and not get myself in the mess I was in. I cannot do everything. I need to rest, eat, relax and connect with those around me. I can’t be plugged in all the time writing and then working at my day job. I learned a hard lesson this year. Yes, I love writing and want to write more books, but they can’t happen as fast as I would like and that’s okay. In fact, that’s better than okay. It’s normal and I’m perfectly fine with that.
– Ron Vitale
The greatest writers have persistence.
– Gina Nahai