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Is The Pursuit of Writing Excellence a Journey to be Enjoyed?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. How can I do my best and keep loving what I do? My first novel has been available for a bit more than a month now. I wrote the very best novel I could at the time. I've done the best I can to market the baby and will continue to do so. We all know how much time can be spent on line promoting our work, building our platforms, hoping that the elusive something makes a difference and that we don't disappoint our readers, our publishers, agents, and so on. I've about driven myself bonkers this last year trying to do everything well. More than once recently I've been hearing others talk about the importance of writing a good book and not stressing so much about the rest. That doesn't mean we ignore our part in marketing our own books, but there's a choice to be made about how far you want to take it. There are some great conversations going on out there on blogs. Here's just a few of the ones that have hit home to me lately.  See if you can relate to any of them.

  1. The Reality of Book Promotion posted by Jordan Dane at The Killzone.
  2. The Best and Worst Writing Advice posted by Michelle Gagnon at The Killzone.
  3. Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer posted by Nathan Bransford in 2009.
  4. What's Your Speed? posted by Tess Gerritsen in April 2011.
  5. The Gift of Insecurity posted by Rachelle Gardner.
When all is said and done I want to be a writer that turns out quality work time after time. I want a long and satisfying writing career. I realize that everyone won't always love my work and that each reader has expectations that I may not always live up to, but I'll always do the best I can. It's part of who I am. So after allowing fear to suck away part of my writing week I'm now getting my head on right. I'm focusing on what I need to do; one of those things will be to post Nathan Bransford's blog post near my computer and go back and read some of these other posts from time to time when the going gets tough.

So what do you think? Is the pursuit of writing excellence a journey to be enjoyed? Is it possible to maintain after publication? How do you plan to approach your writing journey? What's your path look like?


  1. To be enjoyed, of course.
    It's not always easy, writers tend to be plagued by their insecurities.
    You cannot please everyone, that's OK. We're all different, that's how it should be.
    The writing path has its ups and downs, mirroring life.
    Best of luck.

  2. Thanks Elle,
    Words to remember: "The writing path has its ups and downs, mirroring life."

  3. If I didn't enjoy it, why would I do it? There are certainly easier ways to make a living. Yes, it's challenging, but meeting the challenge brings a rush of satisfaction.

  4. Hi Olivia,
    I agree that the challenge brings satisfaction. But I think it's easy to lose site of that with all the pressure that can come with it especially after publication. I'm talking about building a platform and social media, etc. That's what I think I need to do as a writer; get a grip on all the other things that can make writing my next book more difficult. It's a fragile balance for me. Of course I've just published one book and am revising book two and writing book three. Maybe it gets more manageable with experience.