Thursday, November 16, 2006

Where Do I Go From Here?

In the world of publishing, that's a question that's often asked. Published or unpublished, most authors get to a point where they wonder what direction their writing should take. Often this comes in the wake of rejection, bad sales, or disappointing reviews. At such times, it may be tempting to turn to something new, try a another genre, play with different POV. Maybe give up on writing altogether.

There's nothing inherently wrong with going a different direction when we hit a brick wall. Sometimes it's exactly what we should do. More often than not though, finding a way around the wall is going to take a whole lot longer than knocking it down. All we need are the tools to do so.

The fact is, the industry is tough and fickle. Jumping from genre to genre in hopes of getting it right is a waste of effort and energy. When we have passion for what we write, but are feeling uncertain about the market or our own ability to be successful in it, the answer isn't to give up on our dreams, but to push harder. That means different things to different people. To me, pushing harder means putting myself out there more (and boy do I hate being center stage). It means setting goals that are reasonable even while I dream of bigger things. It means accepting where I am now, embracing it, but still looking forward with an eye to next month, next year, even next decade. It doesn't mean I will never switch genres or try something new. It means that I will keep doing what I'm doing while I'm exploring other options (like longer books or family drama).

For others, pushing harder may mean taking classes, reading books on writing, attending conferences, entering contests. It may mean asking for advice, joining critique groups, or putting a manuscript in front of a freelance editor.

Or it may simply mean continuing in exactly the same way, trusting (as Joshua did) that the wall will eventually fall down.

Write for Him.

1 comment:

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Good, simple advice, Shirlee!