Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Controversy and Friendships

Before I get into today's post, I'm going to make a change on the what-I'm-reading header by including the format of the book.  So, drumroll please. . .

Currently reading - Pale Demon by Kim Harrison (HC)

I'm heading off-road for some writer psychological analysis.

The whole e-book vs. print book controversy seems to be taking a weird twist lately.  Someone I know who's traditionally published went on a--well, tirade would be the best word--about the recent changes in the publishing.

On the surface, it sounds as if she's against people diverging from the traditional publishing path, but that's not the case.  She's scared.  Scared that she's made the wrong choices in her career in the face of the recent publishing chaos.  Scared she'll have to start over if her publisher crashes and burns.  Scared she won't have a brick-and-mortar store to sell her books at because her publisher is focusing only on print books.

And this is where being an empath sucks.  The words I hear her saying and the psychic flood crashing into me are two different things.  I've learned from experience when the other person isn't acknowledging her own feelings, me pointing out the discordance will only piss them off more.  But by the same token, I'm not going to roll over and play dead if you're dissing anyone, including me, on a personal level.

Ironically, later on the day of the tirade, I received an e-mail from another published acquaintance.  We'd had some words months ago about whether she should try SF&F.  She was very much against writing SF&F despite that she loved reading it.  In fact, she had lots of reasons not to write SF&F, most of which sounded logical on the surface.

But in reality, her objections were also based in fear.  She'd already lost agents and contracts when the first genre she wrote tanked years ago.  It had taken her a long time to find another agent and break back into publishing, and she did so under another name and a second genre.  She couldn't stand the thought of another uphill battle.

So what was in her e-mail?  Her cover for her new-you guessed it-SF&F novel.

What can you--whether you're trad-published, indie-published or a newbie--take from my experiences?

1)  There is no right, perfect, predictable path to your goals.  Get over it.

2)  Your path is not the same as everyone else's.  Get over it.

3)  You can't tell anyone else what path to follow.  You can try.  They probably won't listen.  See #1.

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