Monday, May 12, 2014

Tending My Garden

Over at A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, JA Konrath has a lovely list of things you should be looking at in your indie publishing business. Go read it. I'll wait.

You're back? That was fast. A pretty simple checklist, isn't it?

However, I would add  a #12 to Joe's list--Keep writing.

That's the point a lot of writers seem to forget these days. If you don't have any stories for sale, then what's the point of #1-11?

If you're one of my regular readers, you probably noticed I didn't post a blog on Friday. I was doing the final read-thru on the last book of Alter Ego's current trilogy. (I listen to my text-to-speech program. It catches a lot of crap!)

I'd originally promised that book would be out by New Year's and failed miserably due to several factors. There were problems going on with the extended family. There were points I wanted to give up on writing totally in mid-winter thanks to my SAD. There was a lot of unanticipated drama concerning the house in Houston. But I had readers asking, and I couldn't bear to disappointment them.

So I edited and started formatting on Friday, and finished formatting and uploaded Saturday afternoon. By the time I got home with my celebratory pizzas, the book was live on Amazon. A reader had already bought a copy and left a note on Alter Ego's FB page. She then sent Alter Ego a note Sunday morning saying how much she loved it.

Now, if I'd stopped writing during the miserable cold and ice in February, I would never have heard that reader's words.

Now, here's where Joe's #11 comes into play. Last winter, I didn't complain so much about writing itself. (I did complain horribly about what my physical problem does to me, and my doctor helped me find a solution I can live with.)

But if you don't have a physical or mental problem that affects you, and you hate writing, then why are you doing it?

Life's too fucking short to be miserable.


  1. Maybe some people buy into the whole "suffering artist" thing, and think that if you're not complaining about your writing every minute of the day, you can't possibly be anguished enough to be a good writer? Or something. Or maybe they just like griping.

    Heck, I gripe a lot. [hides under keyboard] I think about half of it is identify-the-problem mode, and half is headdesking-at-the-idiots mode. I'm over fifty now, so at least I have an excuse for the latter. :)


  2. Angie, I think your griping is legitimate. You'd rather be writing, but certain health issues make it next to impossible at times.

    I don't think Joe was aiming at the "suffering artist" types as much as those with a sense of entitlement. One kid, who's about to release his first book, left a comment about how he plans to sell a couple of thousand copies in the first month. Or another gal spouting off how we writers are all in competition with each other, so we shouldn't be sharing information. Or the people who keep complaining about their sales tanking and saying someone's out to get them even though it's the natural ebb and flow of the market.

    And honestly, I have to agree with Joe. This is a business, and writers can't treat it like their over-indulgent granny who hands out money willy-nilly.

  3. True, about all your examples. It looks to me that there are enough different kinds of writer gripes that it's a wide range rather than a particular type. Some are legit, but a lot aren't. I imagine for a lot of writers, a major step toward being a pro -- or just finding some maturity -- is figuring out what's worth griping about and what's just self-indulgent crap.

    Or having a dream and labelling it a goal. I was lucky enough to have someone explain the difference to me when I was in my twenties. It's a lot easier setting goals if you know what a goal actually is, which the kid who "plans" to sell a couple thousand copies his first month (and a bazillion people like him) obviously doesn't.