Anonymous reader asked: What’s the best way to stay enthusiastic about your career (or in my case -potential career) as a writer? I’m not talking about the love of putting words on the page just for the love of words, I can handle that, but how do you maintain enthusiasm to keep putting yourself out there in the face of all the challenges?
A: This is a tough business, no doubt about it. The writing business is full of challenges that are often very rough on the heart and spirit. Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m not here to throw us authors a big pity party. Obviously, there are far, far harder jobs. None of us is getting trapped for months at a time underground or losing fingers to frostbite or any of the other myriad of other challenges associated with other professions out there.
I count myself–and every other author I know feels the same–truly lucky to be living the dream of writing for a living. But at the same time, there are always challenges and you do have to fight to maintain your enthusiasm in the face of them. Just in my own limited circle of author acquaintances I know writers who have sold their books and signed publishing contracts, only to have their editors leave and their books be ‘orphaned’, never to see the light of day. One author I know was actually sued by his publisher for the return of his advance when this happened. (Though the publisher did ultimately lose the legal case). I know other authors who’ve had all publisher support for their books canceled when their editors were fired, simply because the hate trickled down to all the fired editors’ authors. I know authors whose entire imprints have folded when they’re still under contract.
So how do you stay enthusiastic? Here are my thoughts, whether you’re facing the struggle of querying agents or the ups and downs of being published. [Read more…]