Thursday, June 15, 2006

Words of wisdom from a fellow writer

"Things I've Learned from a Career in Genre Publishing" by Elizabeth Bear
I have bolded the ones that I find particularly important to remember.

1. Writing will not make you happy.
2. Selling will not make you happy.
3. Good reviews will not make you happy.
4. Being happy will make you happy.
5. I hope you like mushrooms.
6. And booze.
7. Editors are mostly tremendously nice and helpful people.
8. Chances are, you will starve.
9. It helps to be okay with that.
10. Or hate sleep.
11. I love my job.

My own additions to this list:
  • Sometimes writing will make you ecstatic. This is not the same thing as happy. It's better than happy when it happens, but leads to tremendous crashes when it's not going so well.
  • Selling does make you happy, temporarily. But it brings its own problems, neuroses, and work for which you (coming in to it with a writer's skills, not, say, a publicist's) are probably ill-prepared.
  • Quitting your day job to write full-time won't make you happy, even though it's probably fulfilling a lifelong goal. And see Elizabeth's #8.
  • If you do quit your day job, there will still be days when you don't want to go to work, any more than you did when you worked for someone else. Only now, you've got the worst boss in the world.
  • I've tried this game with and without supportive partners. Definitely better with. (Thanks, loves, and a big raspberry toward the Ex!)
  • Invest in a crockpot and a good crockpot cookbook. Eating is important, but cooking sometimes not so much.
  • Corollary: See supportive partner comment above. Partners who can cook--or are willing to throw money at the problem--are lifesavers at deadline time.

One of the Sophie Mouette stories has been shortlisted for Best Lesbian Erotica 2007, meaning the editor wants it in the collection, but the publisher will do a final culling to cut the anthology down to size. About a 70% chance it'll be accepted. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Much mad sending out of review copies of Cat Scratch Fever has been happening. Once they're out, we're going to brainstorm other promotional opportunities. See my comment above about publication having its own challenges. I was in book publicity, briefly, about 20 years ago. I got out because I hated it and wasn't very good at it. It's more fun when you're doing it for your own book, but it doesn't come naturally.

(Yeah, yeah, quityerbitching. You have a book to publicize, and not too long ago you weren't sure when you'd get that far. It's always something!)


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