There are so many different approaches to the writing game that playing along seems to be impossible sometimes. You’re told to follow the rules, break the rules, fuck the rules, bend the rules, make your own rules; there are days where I want to throw the rules off a building and some times I cling to them as if they are a life preserver.

Whatever the approach, there seems to be a common path to success. No one really knows it entirely, but what seems to be a universal way to keep moving ahead and getting published is to talk about your successes and keep the rough patches on the DL (at least while you’re going through them). No one wants to listen to a writer complain about how terrible writing is.

no whining

We live in a free country. No one’s forcing you to write. There are times when you’ll feel like you have to. Writing isn’t exactly a choice, but annoying colleges and potential readers with sob stories isn’t the way to be heard. It’s a great way to get muted, un-followed, and  potentially passed over for having a bad attitude.



Because if you focus on the failures, you’ll never meet success. All writers get rejected. Every artist feels like they will never achieve their dreams at some point. Hell, half of us aren’t even sure what exactly it is that we want. The end game isn’t always clear.

Sure, talk about the battles, but make sure that you aren’t just venting online (you should have a close inner circle of friends and family for that). I do my best to talk up my successes as they happen and then go back and touch on the struggles after I’m passed them. The wisdom of hindsight takes the bitterness out and helps people appreciate what you’re trying to convey.

I’m currently shopping around some new work, and maybe it’s my superstitious nature, but none of you will get the details until after the fact. haha I don’t post opening lines or the first few paragraphs for those chain-mailish facebook posts. Not because I don’t want to share everything. If anything I want to share it all, RIGHT NOW!

karen and jack

But part of being a writer, or an author really, is patience. Not just for your books and stories to reach readers, but for yourself. Not everything needs to happen now. I still have issues with that sometimes. But success comes to those who work while they wait. Work and do the talking later.

4 thoughts on “Successes

  1. Jacqui Murray says:

    When I whine (and I do give in at times), I pretty much feel worse when I’m done. Hearing how lousy I feel somehow legitimizes it and then I have to dig myself out of that hole. Sigh.

  2. Shannon Noel Brady says:

    I like when authors share their struggles, it shows other writers that they’re not alone in what they’re going through. But there’s definitely a line between that and just plain whining or spewing bitterness around. I agree that that’s a turn-off.

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