Pollyanna’s Take

There are defeats more triumphant than victories. ~Michel de Montaigne, French Renaissance Philosopher

Typically, I’m the one doing the firing.

I’ve had to sever ties with clients over the years for one reason or another, and I’ve never regretted doing so.

But somehow it feels different on the receiving end.

Being fired.

Let go.

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Time to Focus on Book Two

There’s only one person who needs a glass of water oftener than a small child tucked in for the night, and that’s a writer sitting down to write. ~Mignon McLaughlin, American journalist and author

Oh, how I can relate to this quote!!

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Counting Down

A writer only begins a book, it is the reader who completes it; for the reader takes up where the writer left off as new thoughts stir within him. ~David Harris Russell

That’s a writer’s hope anyway.

To inspire, entertain, encourage, motivate, and so on.

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Sophomore Novel Slump

There are no easy methods of learning difficult things; the method is to close your door, give out that you are not at home, and work. ~Joseph de Maistre, French moralist and philosopher

“They” say once you’ve written one book, it’s easy to write another.

Don’t believe them … they lie.

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Don’t Give Up!

In literature, when nine hundred and ninety-nine souls ignore you, but the thousandth buys your work, or at least borrows it — that is called enormous popularity. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931), English writer

You could have knocked me over with a feather the day I learned somebody wanted to publish my book.

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Proven Wrong

A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~William Styron (American novelist), interview, Writers at Work, 1958

I finally read another novel by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jodi Picoult, and I’ve got to admit I was a bit hard on her before.

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Writing

Rejection.

We writers

Open our souls

To the whole world

To see and to judge

What we labor to bring forth.

Sometimes it’s spectacular, inspired, or even divine;

Other times, it’s nothing but garbage

Wasting good ink and paper.

Or worse, merely average.

Running in circles

Saying nothing

Important.

Note: This one came to me late at night. If there’s a name for this poetic form (with word count increasing by one on lines 1-7, then decreasing back to one), somebody please let me know!

Thanks for Reading, Thanks for Commenting

I was watching the finale of Season 7, The Next Food Network Star, last night (Jeff Mauro, the Sandwich King, won, in case you missed it), and something that was announced grabbed my attention.

Premiering on Aug. 27 will be a new show starring The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, who has penned an immensely popular cookbook, memoir, and children’s book. She’s billed as a sassy, spoiled city girl turned rancher’s wife and home-schooling mom of four; her show will spotlight home cooking and life on the ranch.

What’s amazing to me is that Ree is a blogger. But not just any blogger.

She gets more than 20 million page views per month and received the Weblog of the Year award for 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Talk about a following!

Seriously, I can hardly fathom having that many people devouring my words on a regular basis. How does she ever keep up with the comments?!?

When I started this blog (shortly after returning from a Writer’s Digest Editor’s Intensive in October, 2009), I did so with a great deal of trepidation. I’ve written practically all my life, but the idea of putting my thoughts and words “out there” for all the world to see kinda gave me the heebie jeebies (yes, that’s a word — look it up!). The last thing I wanted or needed was having a bunch of strangers creeping on me.

Over time, however, it became apparent that the people reading my blogs were, in many cases, very much like me. As I read their thoughts and words in return, and as we commented on each other’s posts, I began to feel a kinship with them. I prayed for them, looked forward to learning more about them, and began to hope that somewhere along the line, maybe we’d actually meet in person.

That hasn’t happened, yet. But it’s okay. You don’t have to see friends every day to remain connected.

I’m thankful for every single one of my readers — whether they leave comments or not, whether I know them personally or not. They make me smile, or laugh out loud; they give me new ways of looking at things and advice when I ask for it.

Writing can be a lonely task. Knowing there are others traversing a similar path makes the journey more pleasant.

So go ahead and leave a comment. How can we connect if I don’t know who’s reading and what you’re thinking?

Writing for Fun??

The co-editorial director of Publisher’s Weekly, speaking in a recent interview, said self-published authors typically sell less than 100 copies of their book, compared to the 10,000 copies a well-selling traditionally-published book will move.

Sad, isn’t it?

When a friend showed me this statistic in AARP The Magazine, I couldn’t believe it.

The article went on to compare two first-time writers. Both penned memoirs; both were over 50.

There the similarities end.

One sold more than half a million copies of her book; the other logged a measly 20 downloads to e-readers.

The difference? The first author has a traditional publisher, while the second is self-published.

Now that’s a pretty significant difference.

I hate the thought of laboring for years to produce a book I’m proud of, a book people will want to buy and read, if only a handful are going to bother doing either.

It’s like trying to carry sand in a sieve.

The quandary between self-publishing and traditional publishing is nothing new. Many of us are dealing with it right now. In fact, my friend Lynne Spreen over at Any Shiny Thing recently blogged about this very subject.

There don’t seem to be any easy answers, either. Especially when you realize that you the author are going to have to promote your book, regardless of how you publish it.

Anyway, the AARP article goes on to talk about how many “older authors” want to share their stories, profit or not. And how many vanity, e-book, and other self-publishing options exist for those who do. And how “easy” it is to become self-published — nearly three-fourths of a million nontraditional books came out in 2009, compared with fewer than 300,000 traditional titles.

This publishing guru speculates the market for self-published works will grow as more people accept the technology.

His advice in the meantime? Write for fun, not for finance.

Say what?

When did writing a book become fun? Every real writer I know, including meself, calls it Hard Work.

And to embark on that journey expecting no remuneration is foolish.

I suppose people with nothing but time on their hands, or celebrities with a hefty trust fund and a full-blown ego, can afford to laze about and tinker with penning a novel, then pay somebody to publish it, not caring what happens after that.

The rest of us sweat bullets to get every comma in the right place, choose the right POV, work and re-work plot, act out our scenes with dialog, check pacing, and a thousand-and-one other details.

All in the hopes of finding the right agent. The right publisher. The right market.

Because this is our baby, and it deserves nothing less than our best.

Why shouldn’t we expect payment, regardless of how we publish?