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Look who’s got the best bookmark ?!
Someone please mass-produce these IMMEDIATELY. We really really need a Cumberbomb bookmark.
1. Only you can write this.
2. You were born to write this.
3. People need you to write this.
4. The world is waiting for you to finish this.
5. One day, someone will tell you how much they needed to read this.
6. You can write anything you set your mind to.
7. This has a glimmer of brilliance in it.
8. The crappy words will fall away in revision.
9. My vision of the world matters.
10. I see people in a new way.
You don’t need to believe that this is going to be a bestseller. You don’t need to believe that you’re going to be a household name. You don’t need to believe that someday people will study your book in college. But you do have to work to counteract the relentless voice of defeat in your head that says:
1. No one will ever read this.
2. I am banging my head against the wall here.
3. Who am I to think I could be a writer?
4. My father/mother/partner is right. I should give up.
5. I don’t know how to do this. I never learned. No one ever taught me.
6. My voice doesn’t matter.
7. My experience is too different from anyone else’s to connect with readers.
8. I don’t know what happens next.
9. I feel too exposed. I want to hide and protect myself more.
10. I can’t expect anyone to pay me for this when they can get so many other things for free.
In publishing-universe news, yesterday the Life in Publishing tumblr was shut down permanently, and the account deleted.
This anonymous blog by a (presumably female) publishing insider typically featured cheeky observations about the publishing world (including, yes, author behavior). Based on content, I’d always assumed its mastermind worked in children’s/young adult publishing.
The end came when an author successfully identified the person behind the blog and emailed—to her work address—an angry J’Accuse-letter threatening to reveal her to the public and to her employers. Among the things the accuser found condemnable: jokes about summer Fridays and gentle ribbing about blog tours. You know, really terrible stuff that no one should ever be forced to endure in gif form.
I got to read Life in Publishing’s final post—including the author’s letter to her—in the brief time it was still live. One of the comments, including many from supportive authors said, “this is why we can’t have nice things.”
This makes me super annoyed, but mostly it makes me sad. Life in Publishing’s posts had become infrequent, but when the blog was really active it was FUNNY. And pretty insightful. And, truly, quite gentle. We all know what mean gossip looks like, and this was not it.
We all—editors, authors, agents, publicists, marketers, salespeople, designers, etc.—work really, really hard. We work in a business that runs on talent and passion and sometimes very intense emotion. If you can’t have a sense of humor about all of this, well, you’re in for a pretty miserable ride.
There is no us/them. The greatest successes I have experienced are forged through collaboration, imbued with understanding, and maintain A SENSE OF HUMOR.
I’ll miss you Life in Publishing – whoever you were.
As a writer, I enjoyed the playful, occasionally jibing tone of the blog because it would point out things that were like, “Hey, this is probably not a very professional/cool/nice thing to do,” in a silly way.
And we all have aspects of our jobs that drive us up the wall sometimes, and having a little creative outlet like this that helps entertain the masses and gain a little sympathy for what can often be a very antagonistic work environment — and really shouldn’t be one.
Writing is a profession where you have to find the balance between confidence and checking your ego at the door — and that should be true in life as well. It seems that the person who threatened to ‘out’ her has not found this balance yet, and I hope that whatever issues they are experiencing within themselves they are able to overcome them without resorting to attacking any others.
That being said, it’s really sad to see a good blog have to be dismantled because one person couldn’t have the personal and professional courtesy to be a mature adult. I’m going to miss it :(
One of the best things I’ve ever seen.
"At some point you just gotta have to forget about it, forget about your ego and get on the dance floor." - Kit Harington
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and his wife @ "One Soul" Campaign [ x ]
|—||1900 review of Dracula in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (via a-tundra-toadstool)|
Marlon Brando going over the script on the set of The Men, 1949.
Every once in a while, I’ll hear someone make a blanket statement about writing or the publishing industry. Sometimes it’s a disillusioned writer, sometimes it’s someone trying to sound in the know to their unknowing friends, but one way or another there are some publishing myths floating around that I’d like to stuff into a plastic vat and dissolve in acid. At least, here.
So without further ado, here are five publishing myths that I personally think need to be destroyed:
- You can only get published if you have connections. If you believe this even for a second, I highly recommend you get a Twitter account and start following some agents ASAP. Agents find new authors through cold querying all the time—that is, writers they’ve never interacted with who submitted to their slush pile. Do connections sometimes help? Sure, I suppose, if you have any. But by and large, most writers starting out don’t have any, and it is absolutely not a requirement to finding success as a writer.
- Self or traditional publishing is the only way to fame and riches.Repeat after me: there isn’t ONE correct answer for everyone. Self-publishing is not the right choice for everyone. Traditional publishing is not the right choice for everyone. Some people just want to see their book on the shelf when they walk into Barnes & Noble—and they’re not stupid for going the traditional route to meet that dream. Some people want to have much more control over the process and higher royalties—and they’re not stupid for going the self-publishing route to meet that dream.
Honestly, there are so many methods and options out there for writers, and we should be celebrating those opportunities, regardless of whether or not you intend to use them.
Also, if you’re looking for fame and riches, you’re in the wrong profession. Write because you love to write and because you want to create stories regardless of how much money you may or may not make. But don’t expect to get rich doing it, because while it does very occasionally happen, it’s certainly not the norm.
- Anyone can write a book about a popular topic and become insta-rich. No.
Whenever I hear someone say something along these lines, it’s an automatic sign to me that they know absolutely nothing about the publishing industry. Those so-called overnight success, hugely successful authors we hear so much about are about as rare as lottery winners—and they certainly didn’t find their success by jumping on a bandwagon (or overnight, for that matter).
The thing that non-publishing people often don’t realize is that it takes years for a book to go from first draft to traditionally published. Even after a contract is signed and a book is officially going to be published, it often takes two (or even more) years before the book hits the shelf. So to imply that writers can look at what’s uber-popular, crank out a book like nothing and make millions is pretty erroneous on several counts. And that’s not even considering how difficult it is to write a polished book. So there’s that.
- YA novels are inferior to Adult novels. This one will never cease to make me angry. Ever.
I’m not saying that if you don’t like YA that something’s wrong with you, but what I am saying is that judging an entire category based off preconceptions or a single book that you heard about once (or hell, even a single book that you read and hated once) is wrong. YA authors have brought some of the most powerful, emotional, beautiful, exciting books I’ve ever read. And just because they’re written with teens in mind doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy them or that they’re somehow not worth as much as a book written for an adult audience.
- Authors make so much money, it doesn’t matter if I illegally download their book for free. This is probably one of the few things that’ll make me rage more than the previous point. I wrote a whole post about why this is so beyond not true here, but the short version is this: most writers don’t make a lot of money to begin with, and pirating is the equivalent of taking money out of their paychecks. Money that they need for bills and food and everything else. So stop, ok?
What do you think? Do you have any publishing myths you’d add to the list?
Business Time - Flight of the Conchords
Girl, tonight we’re gonna make love. You know how I know? Because it’s Wednesday. And Wednesday night is the night that we usually make love. Monday night is my night to cook. Tuesday night we go and visit your mother, but Wednesday night we make sweet, weekly love.