Keep on keeping on

So this week’s rejection was a little harder to swallow than the previous ones. I had to remind myself that it’s not an opportunity lost, it’s that I haven’t found a match for my manuscript yet.

While in the midst of my wallowing – i.e., spending too much time on Facebook and Scrabble and reading mysteries instead of working on book #2 – I came across this post on why social media might not be the answer to a writer’s prayers.

Delilah Dawson’s got something here. We can spend our time as writers on building a platform, creating marketing campaigns, and all the other business of being a writer. OR we can spend our time writing.

Reading her post as a writer didn’t exactly help my mood. More conflicting advice about how best to spend my time. And I have been spending my time focusing on the writing and not the social media stuff, for the most part. What time I spend on Twitter and Facebook is primarily a way to connect with writer friends and support the authors I love as a reader.

But then I took a deep breath and read her post as a reader. It resonated. I don’t read books because of their marketing. I don’t read books because I’m deluged with tweets or I might win a Facebook contest or I see ads on the phone booth hoardings or even because I received a free bookmark or postcard (although if you give me your book, there’s a good chance I’ll read it 🙂 ).

I read books because a reviewer I trust made it sound interesting or because the cover thrilled me or because it’s a writer I want to support or a topic that intrigues me.

That said, what really got me fired up to an #amwriting state again was this:

“I went to a panel on How to Write a Bestseller at the RWA conference and asked the two speakers what was the number one contributor to their making the jump from midlist to bestseller, and they both looked very uncomfortable and said, “We just kept on writing.” They couldn’t point to a single marketing-related action. They sure as hell didn’t say, “We sent a lot of auto-DMs on Twitter with our book links in them.”

The recipe seems to be GREAT BOOK + HARD WORK + TIME + LUCK.

And the writer can only control three of those things.”

Thanks, Delilah, for the reminder. I can control the time I put into my writing. I can control the work I do. And I can do my best to write a great book.

So my happy face is back in place, my glass is half-full again, and my rear is firmly in gear at my desk.

And before I get inundated with vehement comments about the need to market oneself, here’s Delilah’s second post on the subject: Wait, Keep Talking…


8 thoughts on “Keep on keeping on

  1. Good for you and thank you for this. Remember…
    “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson
    So maybe we can control all 4 :-).

  2. Sorry to hear about the rejection. They always suck and take a little wind out of our sails. Always remember we’re in a subjective business and what one person likes another won’t. It doesn’t mean your work isn’t good.

    NYT’s Best Selling Author, Bob Mayer says, the thing you need most before marketing is a good book. Keep writing. Don’t quit. The Universe is bringing your publisher to you. They just took the wrong train. 😉

  3. Leslie, Just keep writing and reading. This business is SO subjective. One editor will tell you x and another will tell you y. And it happens to everyone! Writing is not a hobby for the faint of heart. (When I get my next rejection letter, be sure to remind of this. B/c I have a tendency to mope about it for the days, weeks, etc.) 🙂

  4. Oh, Leslie, this has become a huge dilemma for me, social media being both a bane and a blessing. Finding the balance is what’s most difficult for me, but I’m gradually paring down the social media. I have a life to live and I desperately want/need writing to be a big part of that. Thank you for posting this and I’m going to be reading her articles!

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