It’s a neurotic affliction … this need to do things in groups or series. To gather them like bunches of wild flowers for your pleasure.
Again I talk about time and how best to use or manipulate those billions of seconds ticking away the years of our life.
Perhaps you worry if the time is right to say yes to that special someone, have a baby, retire … or as it happens to so many of us here … write, perfect, and publish a book.
But how? That is what so many writers ask themselves.
Whilst I whittle away the hours editing and preparing that final draft for two readers … I would love to reprint part of a marvelous post I read this week … Self-Publishing Can Be A Means, Not An End, by Deborah Smith.
This partial reprint is taken from It’s Only A Novel, a group blog you should read weekly for its timely information and for their wonderful “gaggle” of talented writers:
“Before my business partners club me in the head for suggesting that authors should self-publish rather than seek traditional publishing contracts, let me elaborate: Traditional publishing remains the best choice for most authors, hands down.Publishing is a complex business that requires skills as varied as contract management, editorial expertise, art design, and accounting—skills that few authors have, want to have, or can afford to farm out to professionals.
Publishers build long-term relationships with a large network of industry vendors: wholesalers, distributors, foreign agents, film agents, artists, literary agents, indie booksellers and major chain booksellers. Every title published by Bell Bridge Books requires careful processing, supervision and ongoing management at more than a dozen major publishing platforms in both ebook and print editions.
In addition, a good publisher will guide authors through the mine field of career choices, work with the author on list development, and help with brand creation. It’s a lonely world out there for an author trying to build a career without professional help.
But . . . there’s only so much traditional publishing goodness to go around.” (Read more)
Like Ms. Smith, I have no vested interest in promoting any particular route to publication. Yet, I do feel that this exciting time in which we are all struggling to survive has offered us many alternatives not available ten years ago … five years ago … as late as two years ago.
Time is what you make it:
A great old adage that ends with a preposition. How delightful is that?
Make time work for you or rather “with” you. Depending upon where you fall on the life scale … several decades might have already marched into the sunset. What we are left with in the end is the sure knowledge that dreams are what we make of them. Oh please pardon the cliche, Margie.
Time waits for no man … or woman:
You think there will be time to write down all the stories stored in your memory … those who live inside your soul.
Along the way, you might fool yourself into thinking you have plenty of time to get the last draft, the tenth or final draft “ready” for query.
I must respectfully disagree. You cannot wait for an agent or publisher to put you to the wheel and teach you to react to deadlines. Self motivation and discipline are not something that comes only from external forces.
Like the conflict and tension you are taught to build into your stories, learning how to set goals and react to deadlines begins internally.
It was the best of times … it was the worst of times:
If Charles Dickens wrote his epic, wonderful novels in this market, dozens of agents and publishers might tell him:
- Too long.
- Way too much back story.
- We don’t think we can find a market for this particular novel.
- Serial stories don’t sell.
A hundred different reasons, and a hundred agents and publishers who would be dead on wrong. Good books find their own market, make their own rules and do the most magical things to readers … and no matter how long … readers love and buy them. Modern example: JK Rowlings.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans:
John Lennon coined this long before he knew that his time was going to be cut short by someone who had no life and decided to take his.
As I sit here today … late publishing this post … cat sitting for a friend … busily checking every chapter of the book I finished three weeks ago … and taking a free RWA University class (Member alert) … I worry there will never be enough time to get it all done.
How perfectly foolish.
What I believe John Lennon and others mean to teach is simple:
- Use it up … every second of our life clock.
- Wear it out … every single day.
- Slide into home … skid to the finish line ravaged and sated and … scream to our Almighty Maker out there …
Thanks for one hell of a ride!
Now … if you will please excuse me. I have a deadline to keep.
How about you, do you have an internal clock that keeps time with your goals?
Or do you need external motivation to complete the important tasks in your life?