I’m busy watching the storm coverage, so I figured today was a good day to share some of the links I’ve put aside to share at some point in time. This one’s theme: advice from people who’ve been there and done that.
First, just a quick link to Publishing Information Sites for Beginning Writers from Martha Wells. I’ve linked to a few of the resources listed on this page before, but definitely not all of them. (And I really do need to go back and read through them myself.)
Second, Holly Lisle on Designing Your Writing Career. A few quotes (but really you should read the whole thing):
“Consider a certain amount of flexibility as much of a virtue as thick skin and persistence — you’re going to need all three.”
“First of all, remember this. Your career consists of your lifetime body of work. In that lifetime, you’re going to have some ups and some downs — no matter how brilliant and how lucky you are, some of your books will sell better than others, some will cause you problems, some will bring you a lot of joy.”
Next, Jude Hardin on Pushing the Button. It’s a post about her decision to quit her day job and focus on full-time writing.
“I’m living the American dream, and I am very, very unhappy. Because it isn’t what I want to do. It isn’t what I was put here to do. I was put here to write fiction.”
“Just do it, I tell myself. What’s the worst that could happen?Destitution comes to mind. But to get anywhere in life, you have to believe in yourself. And once you believe in yourself, you have to be willing to take a risk. You have to dance like nobody’s watching. You have to be willing to bet the house on a roll of the dice.”
And, finally, Leslie Stella’s post Let’s say…, which, I believe, outlines her writing journey to date. (Note the eight years between publication of her third and fourth novels. It’s a lesson that just because you make it doesn’t mean you’ve made it forever. And doesn’t mean you can’t make it again.)
“And for the sake of expediency, and also because it is way too painful to dwell on, let’s just say that after the dismal numbers roll in from the sales department, you find yourself in the span of one day dropped from your publisher and dropped by your agent, and being exactly where you were five years earlier—no, no; worse than that, because an unpublished, untried author is less of a liability than one whose last book tanked at Barnes & Noble.”
“You cannot go to sleep at a reasonable hour for the same reason you cannot have a glass of wine and the idiot box: because you were a writer, you were born to be a writer, and you still want to be a writer—no, not yearn, just want, want—it’s a simple word and you have read enough crappy writing by now, including your own, to know that there is something to be said for the simple and direct and plain way of speaking; you are a writer and who is going to tell you that you are not? You are a writer; you are a writer.”
“…and so you write and you write and you write, because you are a writer, yes, and because you will never, never, never let them tell you no.”
It’s long, but worth the read.
And I think between the three posts they give a nice overview of the writing life. Everyone has their own path, but I think most writers would agree it is not an easy road. (At least I have yet to find the blog that says it is…maybe those people are out there and smart enough to keep it to themselves.)
Thanks for linking to my blog. I’m glad you liked that entry, and I hope people will come away from it understanding that, as you say, “just because you make it doesn’t mean you’ve made it forever. And doesn’t mean you can’t make it again.” There is hope; it’s not ALL misery! Like anything else worthwhile, it requires constant vigilance and work.
Absolutely. It was a great post. (And I really liked the bit about picking up dinner with kids in tow, but didn’t quote it because it wasn’t part of what I was blogging about.) And congrats on the upcoming book!