Thursday, November 5, 2015

Finding the Intestinal Fortitude to Continue #Writing #Publishing by @KarynGerrard #Opinion

Snoopy is right, it is hard work. But it is not just the writing itself. It's all the peripheral stuff that can beat you down.  I like to do these posts every now and then to remind myself. So, what is some of this 'stuff'?

Books tanking even though someone with a publisher tells you "Hey, this is going to sell!" *Note: Never listen to anyone who makes such a declaration.* It's a crap shoot, plain and simple.

Copy editors who leave a comment on your manuscript "The conversations are stiff and formal." Yeah. Thanks for that.

Regretting signing multiple contracts because the first book tanked which obviously means the rest will bomb as well (see how a writer thinks?)

Feeling helpless and angry when its revealed successful authors have been plagiarizing like Laura Harner and Lynn Hagen (this one really angers me because it was swept under the rug. The silence was shocking) Both were MM writers which has cast a pall over the entire genre which is very unfair. It also brought out the snark about romance in general in papers like The Washington Post. Yeah, thanks for that.

Finding out what is selling (stepbrother, dark erotica, MMA fighters, MC [motorcycle club] etc) doesn't interest you for any writing. Knowing that what you are writing will not sell because you don't write to the market.

Publishers who do not pay on time. I've been to this rodeo already with Silver Publishing. Now I am dealing with it with Ellora's Cave. *Note: I got a check 3 days ago. It covered Jan-March, including third party sales. They are still behind. I should have rec'd up to and including July's*

Publishers who do not live up to expectations or the hype making self-pubbing all the more attractive.

Real life which manages to throw potholes in the road before you when you least expect it (spouse sickness, a parent's death, etc) which in turn sucks the joy out of writing.

So, you ask yourself, why bother? Why continue to put myself through this meat grinder? Here's the thing. The writing itself relaxes me. I enjoy it. I love it. This other stuff? If you want to be published, you will have to deal with it at some point, there's no escaping it.

Basically, you have to set realistic goals and stick with them. It's great to dream, but don't expect them all to come true. When you start ruminating on the fact EL James has made a 100 million on her Grey trilogy, it can depress the hell out of you.

Don't do it. It's not worth it. If you are in fact in this for the money, then you DO have to write to the market. If you are like me and write for yourself, then accept the reality of the occasional modest success (if you are lucky) and just plug along. It's a tired statement, but money is not all there is to writing. Find your successes where you can and savour them.

Also, don't take editors comments on your manuscript to heart. A lot of the time its unfounded. The publisher liked your MS and gave you a contract. That's worth more than anything. Shrug it off.

Were you offered multiple contracts? Congrats! Not all pubs do this and it is an accomplishment. A notch on your inner success belt. The books don't sell? Meh. Move on.

Feeling frustration and anger over those who cheat the system (fake reviews, paid reviews, etc) or outright stealing (Plagiarizing) is a normal, human reaction, but don't let it overwhelm you. And the fact there are more out there getting away with it can turn your bile. Don't let it affect your joy of writing. Here's another tip that worked for me. Stop checking your sales rankings. Stop going to Goodreads. I have done both and my stress level has dropped several notches.

Real life? It always comes first. Always. If you have to cut back so be it. I have.

Only you know deep in your gut if all this is worth it. Dig deep. Think it through. If not even the writing itself is bringing you joy, it may be time to walk away.  Meanwhile dream realistic goals, continue to write, and most importantly, live your life.



  1. Excellent post, Karyn. When the going gets tough, I always remember one of my favorite sayings, "Don't let the bastards get you down." ;)

    1. Exactly. A credo I live by. Thanks for commenting, Deborah :)

  2. It's good to know I'm not alone. Keeping writing these posts for the rest of us. I'll keep reading them...and soldiering on.
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Jennifer, glad to know I'm not alone either, cheers for commenting! :)


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