Five things you need to do to make your writing career happier

Write I’ve read this post a few times and I started thinking about how it would apply to writers. From writing to representation, and representation to published, and published to staying published and keeping your sales numbers up is a hard long road. Each road is completely unique, and sometimes its hard to remember that. So here are ten things that will make you a happier writer!

1. Take your time.
I know that it seems like a lot of people have things happen fast. They write one draft, get an agent, and get a six figure publishing deal. That is the news that everyone loves to talk about. This isn’t the way most writers come to being published. Taking your time to draft and redraft, revise and revise again will be hard but it will also give you the best chance at landing an an agent and then later a publishing deal.

2. Forget about advances.
She got this amount, he got that amount, and all I got was this crap advance and now I’m disenchanted with publishing industry as a whole. Feeling this negative will have your agent and your editor feeling pretty disenchanted with you as well. Here are two people taking a chance on your writing because they love it and because the writer didn’t get x amount of money like his friends he’s bummed out. Forget about money. When writing comes from love of the craft and the need to get their words out there will have a longer career. Never do it for the cars and the babes, you won’t get those in publishing most likely.

3. I hate my cover and I want to die.
You will never have any say over your cover. Sure, you wrote about a guy driving a 68 Camero around killing zombies and your cover has a chick with a machine gun in front of a 72 Charger and there’s a vampire instead of a zombie off to the side. Good news is? They spelled your name right. Bad news? Your name is so small that your mom thinks you wrote it on the cover with sharpie to impress her. Take four minutes of hate, send an email off to a writing buddy and then forget about it. Get back to writing your next book and stay hopeful that this time they find a stock image of a Camero. Just let it go.

4. Marketing.
Do what you can on your own. But don’t get discouraged by what others are getting. I know she got to go to Amsterdam and Barcelona and your publicist got you a gig sitting at Costco on a Saturday and the free sample lady keeps staring at you from her sausage stand, but this two shall pass. If you don’t get the big book tour, or the blog tour with the top peeps, or even a gig at your local indie, don’t give up! Call your local indie yourself. Email your favorite blogger. When you go on vacation stop in all the stores and sign stock. You can make these things happen for yourself.

5. I’m not as fast/commercial/good as…
Lastly, don’t compare your writing to others. You will never be as fast as her. As commercial as him. Or as good as your favorite author (even though you probably are but you will never think you are). Everyone writes differently and at a different speed. Take the time you need to make your writing the absolute best it can be and if you need more time in between books let your agent know. A better product is always best and when art turns to machine the quality just won’t be there.

Try to have your own journey and enjoy it! Live happily.

5 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Regarding point #5, my first mentor was author Jean Brody (since deceased). She owned a bookstore in town, so I’d go sit with her when I needed advice. When I’d read something really amazing, I’d go in, set it down on her counter, and say, “I could never do this.” She always said the same thing. “No. You do something different.” I’ve never forgotten that.

  2. Gravatar

    @CRyanHyde: That is a lovely story.

  3. Gravatar

    Thanks for the great advice, I imagine you are right on all points.

    You had me laughing out loud with “…a gig sitting at Costco on a Saturday and the free sample lady keeps staring at you from her sausage stand…”

  4. Gravatar

    Wise words, Pam! I don’t HAVE an agent, BTW. I had one for a few months and got my only printed slip for that MS when she sent it off for me(all other rejections were personalised, so I rewrote, sent it off myself and finally sold it). I sometimes think I’m in the wrong area of writing – children’s – and have had very few gigs and wondered why that nice young writer on her first book gets writer’s festival gigs and I don’t, but you just have to get on with it.

  5. Gravatar

    It’s eBookMadness. Have you any brilliant methods to share with us?…

    [...]Five things you need to do to make your writing career happier | Bookalicious[...]…

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