Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Do you settle or are you thrilled?
Do you settle for markets that decrease your chance for rejection? I'll bet you do. I believe every writer seeks a comfort zone. A place full of editors or publishers that welcomes submissions with open arms. We all need havens for our work. But we don't improve unless we're challenged, or at least writing with risk. Rather than settle for easy markets, balance your life with a few of the tried-and-true, then bust into others that force you to hone your skills to a new level.
If you've found a rut that makes you cozy, and you don't have aspirations to climb higher, then by all means enjoy yourself. Don't let me move you off your mark. But don't complain about not making a decent dollar.
If you're seeking to be a writing professional, let every new piece shooting out of your keyboard be remarkably challenging. The brilliance that evolves will amaze you, and it's that thrill that propels you farther into a ridiculously satisfying career.
In a recent chatroom, someone asked me why my books weren't in print yet. He/she (not sure which, so I'll use he) fought to complete a first novel and marvelled I was on book three. Why would I sit on the books, he asked. I said I had an agent shopping the series, and she had one publisher showing considerable interest at present. I explained I'd learned to be patient in this business, and I sought the credibility of the traditional side of the house.
He didn't realize an agent was a major step in itself. He didn't understand that all those publishers he found when he Googled "publisher" were self-publishers. He thought once a book was written, publishers lined up with interest. With rapid fingers, I tried to type in an elementary explanation of self-pubbing versus traditional. His conclusion was that traditional sounded too complicated. He said I could go that route if I wanted to, but he'd self-publish. He had no platform, no brand, and didn't fully comprehend what they were, but he'd already made plans to self-publish, just because it was easier than getting rejected and simpler to understand. I quit explaining, sighed, and moved on to another forum participant.
The happiest people in their work constantly strive to improve and reach a higher plane. There's a difference between being comfortable and being enchanted with your profession.