Friday, June 26, 2015

It's Only A Book

Recently, I went to a book sale at our local library. The customers were given a shopping bag and you could fill it with as many books as it would hold for one dollar. A great deal for shoppers and a way for the library to get rid of discarded and donated books.

As a writer, I saw all those books as a block of time taken from a writer’s life and, maybe, a little bit of their soul.  That brings me to the motto, “It’s Only A Book” and why I think it’s important for writers to remember it.

When you have been stabbed in the heart by a rejection letter or a bad review, remember that's part of being a writer. Every writer has to face the cold reality that their baby will not be loved by everyone. But it will be loved by someone.  Either way, it is only a book. Angst is a waste of time. And there’s always the next book.You need to get started on it now.

When you don’t make time to write, regardless of your circumstances, and when you sacrifice writing time to do other things, then “It’s only a book” is a great mantra.  But, it’s only a book does not apply in this situation because writing is not your priority.  For you, it’s only a dream. One you will never realize unless you sit down and do it.

Don’t revise continuously. Critiques serve their purpose, but you have to be confident enough in your own abilities to keep going forward, instead of in revision circles.  Climb out of the revision trap and remember it’s only a book.  God knows where it will eventually end up.  Maybe a dollar-a-bag sale?

When you’ve spent three months trying to perfect chapter one, remember it’s only a book. It will never be perfect and it doesn’t have to be. 

That leads me to “lack of effort” publishing. I know it’s only a book, but always consider your customer, who may have had to work an hour at a lousy job to buy your book. Especially if it is a print book. Make your book, which is your product with your name on it, the best it can be. This applies to both indie and traditional authors. 

In the end, it’s only a book. You are not going to die if your book flops, and you are not going to bask in a continuous glow if it doesn’t. That’s not how a writer’s life works.

And in closing, if you ever need affirmation of the above, go to your library's book sale. 

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