Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Will it All End?





When most of us decide to start writing – writing with the intention of being published, that is – we know where it begins. In our hearts. We’re called to write. It’s engrained in our DNA, somehow. It’s the one thing we desperately, beyond all reason, must do. Never mind how difficult, how time consuming, how emotionally and physically draining it is. Forget the horror stories we’ve heard about bad agents, tyrannical editors, and the fierce competition. We’re ready to take them on, endure anything to become a published author.

Yes, this is where it starts. But where will it end?

That depends on the writer.

Before your first book is released, before your manuscript is accepted, even before it’s completed and submitted, it’s important for you to decide what, exactly, you expect to get out of your writing.

Do you want to write the book of your heart, put it out there and let it find an audience on its own?

Do you want to be rich and famous?

Or is something in between these two extremes more of what you had in mind?

Think about it. And remember, there’s no wrong answer.

Knowing what you want to get out of writing can be comforting when things get tough, when deadlines are looming, your print run is not what you think it should be, and your overworked editor and publicists don’t seem to be as excited as you are about your book’s success.

For myself, my goal has always been to build a readership that will allow me to keep writing. I’ve been fortunate to do that. And believe me, there were times when hanging onto that thought got me through some disappointments.

I’ve been rejected – yes, even after publishing 26 novels I still get rejected – I’ve had covers I didn’t especially like and titles I wasn’t crazy about. I’ve lost editors I loved and endured editors I didn’t click with. The list goes on.

But in the end, I always drew strength from my original writing goal and reminded myself that yes, this particular situation might not suit me, but I’m still writing, publishers are still publishing me, and readers are still reading my books.

It’s also important to decide early on what you want to get out of your writing because that will dictate what you’ll have to put into it.

Are you inclined to write your book, send it out into the world and hope for a readership? If you don’t like – or can’t do – lots of publicity, this may be your best option. It’s a great book, after all, and great books often find their way into the hands of readers simply by word of mouth.

Want to be rich and famous? Getting there will mean personal appearances, signings, speeches to civic groups, blog tours, Facebook, Twitter. Along with this may come harsh reviews, unappreciative readers, people who’ll say absolutely anything to you. Are you up for that?

Decide what you want and how you want to attain it. In the end you’ll know that despite everything, you got what you wanted: to be published in a manner you can live with.

And that’s pretty darn good.

HAPPY READING!
Dorothy Howell
www.DorothyHowellNovels.com
Fan Dorothy Howell Novels at www.Facebook.com

P.S. This is great advice from Dorothy Howell.

And just a little note from me:

http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/ is my blog stop for the day. Called Thoughts in Progress, I'm always glad to visit here.

Mason Canyon has become a cyber friend. She's hosted me several times while I've been on blog tours and she's reviewed my books.

Often she stops by this blog and leaves a comment.

Be sure to visit her today and if you're participating in the contest, be sure to leave a comment.

12 comments:

C. N. Nevets said...

Dorothy, thank you so much for this much-needed injection of optimism and hope in a too-often cynical and jaded blogosphere.

Marilyn, thanks for hosting Dorothy today.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

So nice to have you here, Dorothy, love what you had to say here.

Marilyn

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

This is one of the most fantastic posts I've read in awhile! Thank you to both you, Dorothy, and Marilyn, for putting this up today.

Monti said...

Developing a readership. That's a great goal. Thank you for this inspiring post.

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Mason Canyon said...

Very inspiring post. Marilyn, thank you for your kind words. I always enjoy hosting you on your tours and your books have become a favorite of mine. I always like dropping by here because I learned something new and meet fun new authors. Have a great weekend.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

February Grace said...

This post is fantastic, a real gift. Thank you.

It's great to realize that it's okay if you don't want the same things out of your writing that other people do.

I've always just wanted to say something, write something, that touches people or helps them in some way.

I don't need an agent or a publishing deal to do that- and maybe that's why since I started thinking I did, I lost sight of my writing.

I need to print this out, tape it to the wall and highlight certain sentences.

I know what I want from my writing- and nothing else matters in the end.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

~bru

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Obviously Dorothy's blog affected more people than just me, thanks again, Dorothy.

Marilyn

C. N. Nevets said...

It's true, Marilyn. I think I need to immortalize this post on quilt or as graffiti in my den or something.

Sometimes, we writers just need someone to say, "Hey, it's a tough road out there, but the secret to managing it is to know what you really want out of it, and then to go about things appropriately."

It's sort of a life-changing sentiment, to be honest.

So much encouragement from your blog, Marilyn, whether it's your own stories of energy and perseverance with a smile and a love for what you do, or your guest posters like Dorothy. :)

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I'm so glad that you all read this great blog from Dorothy. We writers need all the encouragement we can get.

Marilyn

Anne Gallagher said...

I followed a trail of bread crumbs and wound up here. I'm so glad I did. What Dorothy said really resonated with me, so thank you Dorothy.

Thank you too Meredith. Nice to meet you.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, Anne, glad you made your way here.

Marilyn

wizardofwords said...

Nice to find your blog on Blog Jog Day, Marilyn.

Looks like you and I have much in common! I love writing and I love attending conferences!

Please drop by my writing blog and say Hello!
http://doreenisthewizardofwords.blogspot.com/

Doreen Pendgracs