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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG Plentiful Publication Pitfalls


Happy August, writers! Join the Insecure Writer's Support Group at Alex Cavanaugh's blog.

Thank you to this month's courageous co-hosts:



I love this month's question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

I've faced publication pitfalls galore so I hope that sharing them will help newbie authors avoid them. Here are beliefs that put the pain in publishing:

1) "I've got this writing thing." I thought my debut novel was well-written. It wasn't. WRITING IS A CRAFT. It takes years of developing the craft even to knock on the door of good writing. I feel more confident in my day job after over twenty years of experience, so why did I think I was competent at writing after only a few fledgling years of fan fiction? Fortunately I had the opportunity to re-edit my debut novel seven years later, so at least now I can read it without cringing.

2) "My book should hit the shelves soon." I pride myself in finishing tasks efficiently and often feel impatient when others don't do the same. The fact is that publishing is full of excruciating waits. Waiting for...responses to queries, publication contracts, multiple rounds of editing (fortunately my editor is super speedy--love her!), proofreading, cover design, book design, marketing materials, marketing assistants...and that's before the book is even released. Not to mention it's rare (and often requires years of persistence) to publish with a large publisher who gets your book on shelves.

3) "It's clear when a book is good or bad." Reading is so subjective! What one reader loves, another hates. Regarding one of my brash heroes, one reviewer said, "Where can I get a Dane in my life?" whereas another said, "Dane is the WORST hero I have ever read about." I felt proud of the writing in my latest release--too bad it has been my worst seller. Considering the subjectivity and flooded market, we need to write the stories in our hearts instead of wondering what readers will like or buy.

One common thread through all of my pitfalls is expectations. I wish I could quiet my planner brain and live more in the present. I don't know much about Buddhism, but one friend described it as "letting go of expectations". Sounds like a good way to live and write.

16 comments:

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Great tips :-)

Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Time to Say Goodbye

Jennifer Lane said...

Thanks, Ronel! I'm sad to hear about your dog, Tony, passing over the rainbow bridge.

Natalie Aguirre said...

These are great tips and so true. It's so important to be realistic on how long the process can take and live in the moment and the rest of your life too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What one person hates another will love. Just be prepared for that.

Julie Flanders said...

I need to quiet my brain as well. I've actually tried meditation and it has helped me some. But I'm right there with you on the expectations and planning. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Reading is subjective - that is such a good point! I try to remind myself that not everyone is going to like what I write and that that's okay because I don't like everything I read.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi Natalie, publishing has tried to teach me patience but it's not sticking. ;-)

Alex, that truth has taken a while to sink in.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi, Julie! Meditation is awesome, I agree. I meditate sometimes with my clients.

Ellen, it would be hard to find a reader who WOULDN'T like Murder at the Marina. :-)

Erika Beebe said...

I love this thought: "I wish I could quiet my planner brain and live more in the present." It's so true. Patience is not my strength but your post really helps me see how much patience I really need. :)

Jennifer Lane said...

Erika, I hear ya about the impatience part! May we both be more zen. ;-)

Lee Lowery said...

Good points, all. I've got one of those "planner brains" and it really is difficult to let go of expectations. I am always expecting progress and not always getting it. :-)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great points. The waiting is often demoralizing. And it does take years of work for most of us.

Jennifer Lane said...

Lee, I guess one advantage of our planner brains is that we get shit done!

Demoralizing is a great word for it, Susan.

Thanks to both of you for co-hosting and stopping by!

Juneta Key said...

Sounds like productive advice but EXPECTATION is a big thing.

Jennifer Lane said...

Tough to avoid expectation, Juneta!

Arlee Bird said...

So true--I think we all have our personal expectations that often lead to disappointments. I'm not sure how to shake them since I think it's only natural for any of us to visualize what we might expect or hope for in any outcome. It's part of looking forward. If we can look forward with a realistic sense of things then that can make a difference. Also if we don't learn from our pasts then we probably just keep on having unrealistic expectations. All easier said than done.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

 


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