Random Friday


And since not much is going on – again – here are a few writers on writing, words of wisdom and whatnot. Have a wonderful weekend

***

When you’re having a bad writing day, a hard writing day, remember that.

And remember too that when you sit down a week from now, or a month, or a year, the days the writing was hard and the days the writing was easy will be indistinguishable from one another. In fact, sometimes the easy days produce worse work than the difficult days. You never know. So don’t let it stop you. Put the bucket over your head and run at the wall anyway.

And remember that all of this is just a draft, that it can all be fixed and changed, that what doesn’t work can be made to work. It can always be made to work with enough practice, with enough blood.

You’re having a hard day of writing, write anyway.

Do it because it’s hard.

Forgive yourself because it’s hard.

Don’t let one bad day be the gravestone for the rest of the days.

Chuck Wendig

Thanks to Quiet by Susan Cain, many writers are happily claiming their introversion. I’m an introvert, which means I get my energy from being alone. I hate small talk and large groups. I’d rather think than speak, and write rather than talk. I rarely answer the phone. I’m INFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, and many authors fit a similar model. This also means that conferences and events are tiring, so I can’t do too many of them a year. If you’re like me, then we’re super lucky these days, because online marketing suits introverts. We can attract an audience online and connect with readers, while still spending time alone.
Joanna Penn

There’s nothing like studying the bestseller lists of bygone years for teaching an author humility. You’ve heard of the ones that got filmed, normally. Mostly you realise that today’s bestsellers are tomorrow’s forgotten things.

(…)

I’m convinced if I keep going one day I will write something decent. On very bad days I will observe that I must have written good things in the past, which means that I’ve lost it. But normally I just assume that I don’t have it. The gulf between the thing I set out to make in my head and the sad, lumpy thing that emerges into reality is huge and distant and I just wish that I could get them closer.

Neil Gaiman

The proper response to a rejection is to send the story out to a different publisher—not to rewrite the tale. So don’t fiddle with your language. There are times when it might be wise to make a “substantial” revision, one where you change the very bones of a story. For example, you might decide to write a new opening scene, or extend a climax, or something like that. In that case, it’s like re-setting the bones of the story, not applying new lipstick to the face of it. You’re fixing the underlying structure.

David Farland

That’s the kind of writer you want to be. You want to be the writer whose work they buy because they love your work, rather than the writer who distracts them for one weekend and whom they never read again.

(…)

We all want our latest releases to sell millions of copies this year. Most of us—99.9% of us—won’t achieve that. But we will have published a book or two or three, and we are working in our chosen field.

We’re the day-to-day folk who provide the best entertainment possible in a non-special-event kinda way. And that’s what most readers want.

Remember that the next time you see a lot of hype.

And realize that the hype isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Kris Rusch

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Random Friday


Haven’t been doing much, so I’m posting the Words of Wisdom, Writers on Writing, whatever you want  to call them, and happy new writing year! 🙂

Keep your ear to the ground. You can’t just hide out in your writing cave. Remember, the market changes. You need to be able to alter course if necessary, so stay informed of what’s happening in the industry, what other authors are doing, what the book trends are, etc. That doesn’t mean you jump on everything that comes your way, but you need to be aware of it. Don’t be the last one to catch the train.

Pay it forward!!! Support your fellow authors. Buy their books. Review their books. Share their releases and successes with your followers. I can’t tell you how many opportunities have come my way because of friendships with other authors. It takes a village to build a successful writing career, and your fellow authors are your village.

Cara Bristol

I love to write. A lot of you love to write, I bet. But, as with any love, there are days you hate it. Some days, writing feels like endless toil. There are days when writing acts distant for no apparent reason, because writing can be a passive-aggressive jerk. Writing is the sort of lover who breaks up with you, then slinks in naked while you’re taking a shower, like nothing happened. You’ll stay up all night with writing and regret it when you have to go to work in the morning. There’ll even be times when you’re trying to focus on something else, but writing won’t stop talking to you no matter how politely you ask.

Simply put, writing is an asshole. Writing steals your money and spends it on stupid things, like another gimmicky book on how to write better, and then it acts like it bought that book for both of you. Writing will take you to heaven and back all day long, but the next morning it’ll be gone without even leaving a note.
Because writing is love, and love is hell.

Robyn Bennis

Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.

– John Green

If you are the kind of writer who can write the same thing over and over again and not get bored, then you might be able to develop the kind of brand loyalty that Child is talking about.

I can’t. I don’t want to repeat myself. So even though I know what he did is very smart, it’s not something I can or will replicate. I have to plan my own brand work around that decision.

That said, I am much more interested in building brand loyalty than I am in building customer loyalty. I didn’t have the words for this until I started this series.

I don’t want people to buy my books because they’re discounted or because I keep offering better and better variations of a good deal. I want people to buy my books because they enjoy my books.

Kris Rusch

Impostor Syndrome is real. Flip the script on it. Don’t let it have power over you. Admit you’re an impostor. Then admit that we’re all impostors — none of us belong here because art and story are forbidden, interstitial places. This thing we do is Buccaneer’s Den, it’s Mos Eisley, it’s a secret moon colony. Not a one of us “belongs” here. We all booked illegal passage through blackest night and sharky waters to get here. We’re not one ship, we’re countless life-boats strung together — a glorious flotilla of freaks.

This is who we are. It’s what we do. And what we do is sometimes hard. It’s hard for me. It’s hard for you. It’s hard for Stephen King. It’s hard for J.K. Rowling. King probably thinks that Rowling does it effortlessly, and Rowling probably thinks King sails through every draft, and the truth is, it’s hard for them, for you, for me, for every penmonkey that ever done monkeyed with a pen.

When a story reads effortlessly, it was not written effortlessly. In fact, the more effortlessly it reads, the more effort probably went into making it read effortlessly.

It took work.

Chuck Wendig

Writer Wednesday


Since I’m still traveling, I’m postponing the actual Writer Wednesday with a summary of this Business Masterclass. But I’m not leaving you high and dry! Here are some writers on writing/words of wisdom/writers’ quotes to keep you company until I come back! Have a great week!

Right now you are best writer you can be at this point in time.

Believe that, keep practicing and sending your work out, keep learning everything you can learn.

Understand that the more you write, the more you learn, the better you will become.

But right now you are the best writer you can be.

And that will be better than the writer you were a year ago, if you are doing things right and writing and learning.

And it won’t be as good as you will be in a year if you keep learning and practicing.

Imagine how much more you will know and how much better a storyteller you will be in forty years…

Dean Wesley Smith

Should A Writer Get An English Degree, Yes Or No?

This is apparently a question, so I will attempt to address it.

I have no idea what you should or should not do. Every writer tends to carve their own writer-shaped door into the industry, and then they seal it shut behind them, Cask-of-Amontillado-style. (I can make that Poe joke because I was an English major. I have a license for such literary shenanigans; if you are caught making such a pun without the proper degree, you will be hunted.) There exists no One True Way to become a writer except, you know, go read stuff, live a life, and write things down.

Keep reading stuff, living your life, and writing things down until you get sorta okay at it, and then later until you maybe get sorta good at it, and hey, ta-da, you’re probably a writer. Maybe even a professional one of some level of success from MEAGER TRILOBYTE to MIDLIST INKSLINGER to GRAND CONQUERING PENMONKEY OF THE REALM.

There, the end, go do it.

Chuck Wendig

Now, all that said, it takes more than writing to market to get a book that makes money and has oodles of readers. It takes more than writing to a niche to get that smaller but fanatically loyal fan-base. You also may write that cannibal comedy so well that it gets attention from readers across the board and starts the next big trend. You can’t predict how your book will do once it’s published.

You have to start by writing a great book of whatever genre you pick. You then have to either put the work in to get an agent or publisher, or publish it yourself and be willing to do your own promotion and marketing. Your writing has to be what sets you apart, the rest are no more than paths your writing takes to get to your goal. It’s a smart writer that spends some time considering which path they want to take.

That doesn’t make you untrue to your art. It makes you an artist who has a goal for their art and makes a plan for how to get there. There is nothing wrong with art for art’s sake, but if you want people to buy your art, then you need to have a plan.

Julianne Johnson

Be yourself.  Write to your standards, your taste.  The road will be lonely, because you’re the only one on it.
Know that when you put a book out, there may be elements beyond your control that bring it down.  You can control the quality, but you can’t control much more.

David Farland

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou(I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdoms, writers on writing, you name it! Enjoy these writers’ quotes and happy Sunday! 🙂

However, artistic freedom sometimes comes with a price. And that price is sometimes too steep for many writers to pay. Low sales, bad reviews, and so on.
Artistic freedom takes courage to write what you actually want to write, not just what you think you “should” be writing to keep the money flowing or what your workshop tells you to write or some editor or agent tells you to write.
Courage to hold onto your own artistic freedom is sometimes difficult and certainly not an easy task.
But the artistic freedom this new world of publishing gives you should be cherished. I know, I worked thirty years without it and now that I actually understand how lucky I am, I’m going to defend it even more
I love the freedom to make my own choices in publishing, right or wrong.
I love the freedom to write what I love to write, what I want to write. Period.
And once again, I will say it simply: I love this new world.
Dean Wesley Smith

There is a saying among writers: “When you write a book, the first words of the novel will sell that novel, but the last words in the novel will sell the next.” In other words, a powerful novel will make your reputation, will cause people to remember your name, so that with future books, the fans will simply pick them up without thinking. They might not need to know the title or check the reviews on your next novel. They’re fans for life.
David Farland

Because ELIXIR was my first book, I didn’t write it under a deadline. I could take my sweet time to work on the story, waste hundreds of pages on tangent plot lines that went nowhere, stop and start as inspiration ebbed and flowed, and revise indefinitely. All told, I spent almost seven years on that first book. And then the publishing gods smiled on me and I found myself with a two-book contract which allowed me a little over seven months to write the follow-up, UNVEILED. Given my writing history, this task sounded almost impossibly daunting. What I realized, however, as I successfully completed the manuscript well within the deadline, is that tasks expand or contract to fill the time available. I took seven years to write ELIXIR because I could. I wrote UNVEILED in seven months because I had to. More time does not necessarily make for a better book, either. When there was all the time in the world, that time was most often unproductively frittered, whereas the deadline had a way of sharpening my focus, making me more attentive. And attention begets inspiration.
Ruth Vincent

Inspiration comes and goes, creativity is the result of practice.
– Phil Cousineau

What I know is this:
We’re writers, and writers write.
And so, this year’s authorial resolution is far humbler, far smaller –
Write, despite.
What I mean is, no matter what happens, keep writing. No matter how exciting or terrifying the news becomes, write anyway. Force the time. Look away. Focus up. Eyes on your paper. Demand of yourself the creation of stories. Carve out the mental and emotional territory, and the temporal and physical landscape, in order to keep doing what you’re doing. In times like this, the distractions are endless. It’s easy to stop. It’s all too simple to feel overwhelmed by what’s going on and to stare at the Eye of Mordor as it fixes its gaze upon you. And yet, no matter what, you gotta do the thing. You gotta tell the stories. You gotta write it all down.
Write, despite. Or if you’re so inclined, write in spite of everything.
Your art does not need to be rebellious for you to rebel against everything. Just making art is an act outside the natural order. It is already a contravention of the status quo. And it’ll only get moreso in the coming year(s). Write despite. You needn’t aim any higher than that. You can. But the best thing you can do is to give yourself that mandate:
Write no matter what, write anyway, write always.
Have a great 2017. Carve your words into its hide. Tell the monster your tales.
Chuck Wendig

Random Friday


Still offline, so leaving you with some writers on writing, words of wisdom, whatever you want to call them! Have a great weekend!

It always amuses me when the status quo preaches about how the gatekeepers of New York, in their valiant efforts to curtail the so-called Tsunami of Crap, boast how they’re responsible for safeguarding literature and culture and are solely responsible for bringing books to the masses.
The opposite is the truth. The Big 5 are censors. For decades, their paper book distribution oligopoly limited what was available to readers. Their “curation”, which they’ve touted as a feature, has actually been a gigantic bug. A censorship bug, which prevented readers from deciding for themselves what’s worthy and what isn’t.
It’s so liberating, so intoxicating, to be able to write the kind of book I want to, without being subjected to the whims of the gatekeepers. Imagine if the Internet only allowed certain websites to be published based on what a select handful of people deemed appropriate. We’d have a far smaller, much less interesting World Wide Web.
Yet, even with the number of websites surpassing 1 billion, we can all still find worthy URLs that interest us.
Self-publishing doesn’t lead to a Tsunami of Crap. It leads to freedom, more choices, better prices, and the opportunity for more writers and readers to indulge in their whims and passions.

Joe Konrath

It takes a certain personality type to persevere through the solitude and negative feedback. I often say I’m a writing junkie, but more accurately, I’m a storytelling junkie. I consume and create story in equal measures. Take my stories away, I’ll wither and die.
Most people have a real life that writing gets in the way of. I have a writing life that real events interrupt. Most writers who have committed a novel or two find the writing life not to their taste.
Solitude and making things up is not for everyone.
Nor should it be.

Kris Rush

And here’s the best news of all: I don’t have to be a bestseller to make comfortable money. In the past, if I had wanted to stay home and write books full-time, I had to hope I could sell my books to thousands of people. Now, I can make good money selling to hundreds. And hundreds of people is do-able. It might take some time to get there—I put my first story up on Amazon in 2009, so I’m into year 5 here—but it can be done.

M.C.A. Hogart

We will never stop taking risks.
And we keep writing and putting up new work. And that’s the most important of everything.
We do our best to keep up with everything new coming into publishing, but we don’t chase every fad. And we don’t write to market. We write what we love.
And it seems to work just fine in the long run.
We have fun. We make a lot of money. That’s also fun.
And we do our best to help others find their own road, even if it is different from what we are doing. Every writer is different. And thankfully these days, there is no one path.

– Dean Wesley Smith

You don’t have to be perfect. Just perfect for yourself. You can achieve this personal perfection by having your own yardstick of what success means to you. But the important thing is that the yardstick have notches that take into account successes that are big as well as small. Think that writer who sold several thousand copies on Kindle is successful? Great. But if your own pdf has been downloaded 67 times, that is no small feat either. Imagine, at least 67 people in the world have thought your words worth paying their hard-earned cash for. And at least 67 people in the world have benefited in some way from your creation. To me, that sounds good.

Devyani Borade

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.
Raymond Chandler

Sunday Surprise


Let’s start the new year well! Words of wisdom and writers on writing to take home. Here’s to 2015 filled with more wise quotes!

How do people find your work? By having choices. Some people might like the cover on your very first novel, and buy it for that reason. Some people don’t find you until your fifteenth novel. Some people like your short stories or, as some of you have pointed out on a recent blog of mine, some of people find your fiction through your nonfiction.

Write. Write a lot. Then write more.

Don’t even bother to try to be “discovered” until you have a body of work. Not one novel. Not even two novels. Maybe not three or four or five. Worry about being discovered after you’ve published a good handful of novels or short stories or plays or nonfiction books. Enough to fill a computer screen when someone is scrolling, looking for something to read.

I am not telling you to wait to publish.

Got that?

I think you should publish the very first thing you finish. If you want to be traditionally published, send that very first thing to editors who might buy it. If you want to be a hybrid writer or an indie writer, then publish that thing after it’s gone through a first reader and a copy editor. Get it out into the world.

You might not sell a single copy.

You might sell hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands.

The only way to know is to make the work available.

But first, you have to do the work.

That work is writing.

Write what you love. Tell the best story you can. Then, once you’ve finished that story, start a new story. Make it even better than the first.

Kris Rusch

Self-publishing is not a gold rush.

Success at writing requires, in addition to long hours and hard work, a lot of luck.

Check out my advice to aspiring writers, there on the left hand side of the front page. Check every interview I’ve ever given and any blog post where I mention what authors should expect. I’ve beaten this drum louder and longer than any other drum, including my love of self-publishing. I say it all the time. You have to write because you love it. You can’t expect to make a living at this. Luck is involved. Most won’t make it.

Hugh Howey

This revolution isn’t about Konrath making a million dollars a year. 

This revolution is about writers, for the first time ever, having power.

We have a choice. And it’s our duty to make ALL writers aware of this choice.

Visit www.authorearnings.com. Fill out the survey and petition. Link to it. Tweet it. Discuss it on Facebook. Speak out and tell your peers what your experiences are. Even if you make $10 a year, you’re not a failure. Failure is giving up. Failure is handing your fate over to someone else. Failure is not arming yourself with information.

Ebooks are forever. Understand what copyright is. Understand that money flows toward the writer. Understand that the more control you have, the less likely you are to be at the mercy of others.

The first step, in any revolution, is making the exploited aware of how they’re being exploited. We have a growing body of evidence that shows self-publishing is good, and legacy publishing is exploitative.

We need to share that evidence if we want change to happen.

Tell your stories. Be proud of your accomplishments. Stop succeeding in silence.

Joe Konrath

If you want to make pictures or write stories, no one can stop you.

You do not need to be a pro to be happy. The pursuit of the pro career for which some people simply are not suited has led many people to great unhappiness. I was not suited for a career in music, despite 12 long years of banging away at it.

Know thyself.

It isn’t a question of whether or not this is something you want to do: the question is, can you make a living at it?

You don’t have to make a living at art to enjoy making art. Give yourself the freedom to make art without the burden of art making you.

Colleen Doran

In this modern world of publishing, there is no one way, no right way, no perfect path.

My suggestion is to keep your eyes open on the publishing side, look around, try one way or another, and be willing to change if something sounds right.

Do a writing plan and a business plan as to where you want to be in five years and figure out if the plan is realistic for your writing.

Write to passion.

And never listen to anyone who tells you there is only one right way.

There is only your way.

Experiment, learn, find it, and have fun.

Dean Wesley Smith

Sunday Surprise


And it’s WoW Sunday – or writers on writing, words of wisdom, whatever you want to call it. Enjoy these writers’ quotes and have a great Sunday!

But the one position I never write from is the one-book writer. It’s a position I honestly don’t understand. And that gets me in trouble with some of you who read this blog. Some of you think I don’t do enough to support my “book”; some of  you believe I don’t understand what it’s like to be a beginner (what, was I born fully formed from the forehead of Zeus?); some of you think I could never understand how hard writing is.
I understand all of that. What I don’t understand is why some of you believe that your book (singular) is a sacred and holy text. Why you believe that once you’ve published your one book, you’re done.
Kristine Katryn Rusch

I have never been able to understand how people can complain about being lonely or bored; there are so many interesting things to do, so many fascinating people to know. I love my work, and I hope to go on doing it till I drop at the age of 99.
– Barbara Mertz

The one thing a creator can bring to the table when everybody else has all the money and power is a centeredness and the ability to walk away. Never sit at a table you can’t walk away from.
– Joss Whedon

The key to success is keeping at it until you succeed. For me, that took over twenty years of hard work, and I still fail all the time. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Keep writing, keep experimenting, try to learn from your failures, and never give up.
Joe Konrath

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through. — Ira Glass

Sunday Surprise


…and it’s the writerly wisdom of the month! Enjoy these writers’ quotes and have a great Sunday! 🙂

In fact, long ago I set a goal: if I’m going to write something, I want it to accomplish two ends: the project must be commercially viable, and I have to have fun doing it.

Sometimes, I admit, I worry far more about having fun than about making money. I tend to mismanage my career. If I only wanted to make money, I’d write as commercially as possible, sticking to a single genre. I do neither. In any case, there are good reasons to write for fun.

– David Farland

Just continue to write, writer.  Find your audience.  Don’t waste your time on promotion.  Write, write, write your a$$ off. That’s the best promotion there is. Forget about Twitter, spamming Facebook walls, getting all your friends and family to leave you glowing reviews.  Don’t do it.  Just write.

Indie Books List

Write a lot of good stories. Not beautiful words. Good stories. Remember, fiction gets translated into a variety of languages, and in those languages, your original words get lost. Only stories get translated, stories with great characters, great plots, and unforgettable moments.

– Kris Rush

A writer knows they’re successful when they personally feel like they’re successful. That may sound like cheesy mumbo jumbo, but it’s true. Depending on one thing to be an indicator for success is unhealthy whether you reach the goal or don’t reach the goal. Success isn’t static, nor is it solid. As long as you keep moving toward the next thing you personally want to succeed in rather than trying to succeed in something that holds more public value to you than personal, you’ll be successful. (…)

Give yourself goals to achieve, but don’t write your books solely to reach some general indicator of success. Write your books because you love writing them and you want people to love reading them. Give your books your best effort and, when/if you succeed on a public level, it’ll come as a pleasant surprise.
As long as you personally feel successful, you’ve succeeded as a writer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

– Tiffany Cole

So the indie publishing movement near the end of 2012 is still in some flux, as it should be after only three or so years in this new electronic-added world. Many writers are doing books or backlist titles themselves, but at the same time indie publishing is seeing the early adaptors starting to get discouraged and dropping out.
Again, this is nothing new in publishing. To make a career in publishing, you have to be ready for a long haul, often over decades. Most writers who went indie two years ago didn’t want to do that, didn’t find the “gold” they were promised after a ton of wasted promotion efforts, and have stopped. Nothing unusual at all. Writers starting off and then quitting was always the way it was even when I came into publishing back in the dark ages. Nothing different. But now it’s not quitting after fifty rejections, it’s quitting after three books up and very few sales.

– Dean Wesley Smith

Sunday Surprise


no guests, no artworks, so some more writers wisdom… Have a wonderful Sunday! 🙂

I started writing a new book last week. I’d been between projects with other writing-related activities taking up my time. What I didn’t realize until I immersed myself in Chapter 1 was that I need to write. It’s a stress-release for me. If you’re a writer, you write because writing is like breathing. You simply have to do it.
But will it make you rich? If you’re looking at the success stories of the few rich and famous authors, you’re going to feel like a failure from Day One. There are no overnight success stories. No shortcuts. A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. And nowadays, when the odds of a new author breaking into the Big Six are getting slimmer and slimmer, and the mid-list authors are going the way of the dodo, I decided to investigate alternate publishing methods.

– Terry Odell

 

I spent too many years neglecting my muse. I believed creativity was finite, that when I gave my creativity to my employer, there was none left for my art. But creativity is not a fossil fuel of finite supply that must be transported in pipelines and on ships and driven around in automobile tanks. Creative thinking, I’ve learned, begets more creative thinking.

– Patrick Ross

 

Focus on learning how to tell a better story while at the same time learning the business. If you keep writing and learning, eventually you will be a big name writer with a lot of books out and will have to give this same advice to the next generation of writers.So my suggestion is to stop whining about how big names have all the advantages, and start focusing on learning how to write better stories. Stop spending time on promotion and spend the time on the next short story or the next novel. Your best promotion is always your next book.

– Dean Wesley Smith

 

It turns out that I was entirely wrong. I was missing what I really wanted. One of the major reasons that I write is to connect with readers, not publishers. The truth is that I couldn’t care less whether New York editors and publishers like me. I don’t want to write for them. I want to write for you. The other undeniable truth is that readers could care less that my books aren’t put out by a big publisher. They read for the content, not the publishing house emblem.

– Jessica Park @ Indiereader.com

 

Here is what most writers forget. You are the boss of your own story. Not the other writers in your critique group. Not the famous author whose workshop you were lucky enough to get into at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Not even your mother-in-law who comes into your house while you are at work and vacuums the mattresses because somebody has to protect her grandchildren from dust mites. When it comes to applying feedback, you — and only you — are the one who gets to determine what stays and what goes in your story. And that is a good thing.

– Joni B. Cole

Sunday Surprise


And let’s start the new year with some writerly quotes! Here’s to a productive writing year to all the writers out there!

I love writing. I loved it for the 12 years where I didn’t sell a single thing, and I’ve loved it for the 12 years I’ve been a professional. I have all the conceits that every writer has. I think about my characters as if they’re real people. I dream about scenes. I secretly believe my stories are the best in the world. I laugh at my own jokes, cry at the emotional parts, and often dislocate my elbow patting myself on the back after a good bit of dialog or a fun twist. Being a writer does more than define me; it isn’t a job, it’s a way of life. And when I put my life out there for the world to see, I want it to be the very best that I am capable of. I want readers to enjoy it as much as I have. I want every chapter, every scene, every sentence to be deliberate, to convey exactly what I want it to convey.

– Joe Konrath

 

Agents and editors think they know what readers want. They don’t always know. Readers know what readers want, and they’re expressing their wants by buying books written by indie authors. Give yourself a hardy pat on the back if you’ve completed a manuscript, but the big applause goes to our devoted fans and readers. Without them, we would be nothing.

– Carol Davis Luce

 

The point here is that you do not have to feel as though you are in competition with the entire world. You don’t NEED the entire world to be a successful writer. What you need is an audience—just enough of an audience, mind you—who reads your words, is changed by them and wants to come back for more.”

– Tracy Hickman

 

An audience can’t be goosed. The audience must be built. And then it must be nurtured. Audiences aren’t fickle. They’ll return when they see a notice of something new from one of their favorites. But if their favorites cease to produce, the audience will move onto something else.

Because you must remember one thing about any audience: its free time and its entertainment dollars are finite. So if you fail to produce work your audience loves, eventually your audience will move onto other things. It won’t abandon you: audiences are very loyal. But your audience will think you abandoned it.

– Kris Rusch

 

It’s hard to fault his dollars-and-cents logic. But when I start thinking along these lines, I try to take a step back and remind myself that I never got into this business for the money in the first place. I became a writer so that I could do what I wanted, and if I reach a point where my “success” as a writer keeps me from doing what I want to do, there would seem to be something seriously wrong with the turn my career has taken.

– Lawrence Block

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