Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Persistence is Key

This weekend I’ll be in Culver City attending the California Crime Writers Conference. On Sunday, I’ll be moderating a panel on surviving the ups and downs of the publishing world with Sue Ann Jaffarian, Patricia Smiley and Jeri Westerson. Between the three of them, they’ve published over 50 books plus numerous novellas and short stories. I didn’t count, but I’ve probably read at least half of them.

Even though I’ve known these folks awhile, I learned even more about them while preparing the questions for the panel. They’ve all had their problems from agents and editors dying or quitting to publishers dropping a series. Through it all they persisted.

I think persistence is key in all walks of life. Sometimes things run smoothly and go as you planned, but more often you run into stumbling blocks, some big, some small. The key is not to let those problems prevent you from reaching your goal, whatever that is. Sometimes that means events not happening at the time you expected or wanted them to.

I’m also a firm believer that most things happen for a reason. I was disappointed years and years ago when I couldn’t get an agent or find a publisher for my first book. Now that I look back, I’m glad I didn’t. The version of the book that eventually did get published is so much better than the one I’d originally shopped around. Over the years I grew as a writer and learned how to better tell a story.

My wish for you all: Whatever your goal, may you sail through the calm waters and navigate the rough seas successfully.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

One certainly needs persistence in the publishing game.

But what is equally, if not more, important is patience. The wheels grind very slowly and an author has to learn how to just go with that -- without it degenerating into becoming ignored. That's a very fine line to walk, too!