Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writer Wednesday: Ups and Downs

Let's face it, this industry is full of ups and downs. Right now, I have to admit I'm in an awkward period. I'm full of emotions, and I'm not always sure which way is up anymore.

Why am I confessing this? Because I don't ever want to come across as someone who has all the answers. I don't. I share my experiences, hoping others will find them helpful and also hoping to hear about your experiences. 

Right now I'm trying to balance writing for different age groups and genres. It's tough. Really tough sometimes. I'm trying to balance writing and marketing. That's even tougher. And I have some things I'm dealing with that I can't tell you just yet.

So how do I get through it? I remind myself that after the down comes the up. One way or another, I'll figure this out and find my way up again.

How do you deal with the roller coaster that is this industry?

77 comments:

  1. The industry ups and downs are bad enough, but when you're trying to balance that with the ups and downs of personal life, it does get really tough. That's what I've been doing for over a year, and it still hasn't gotten easy. At the moment, I'm dealing with galley sheets and trying to find an easier way to do some promotion for my book coming out in November. I'm not on the Retreat much...I'm seldom on FB, almost never on Twitter, and not even on the publisher's author forum that is very active. I should be doing all of the above, and just don't have the hours in the day to do so. But i've found...out of necessity...that the only way to deal with it is by taking it one day at a time. Making a schedule for time allotment for blogging, social networking/promotion, etc., is great, but for me, it's usually a waste of time as the schedule winds up several weeks in arrears! So I take it one day at a time, and even if the "downs" last for several days, suddenly the "ups" come around...if only for a day or two. I don't know how to do it any other way, and it's very frustrating, but if you're going to ride that particular roller coaster, you learn to adapt in the best way for you. And for me, at least for now, it's taking it one day at a time.

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    1. I haven't been on the Retreat in a long time and I feel so guilty about it. I think I tried to do too much and I just couldn't keep up with it all. I do keep in touch with a lot of people on FB though. But even there, I get in and out as quickly as I can so I can get back to writing. It's tough trying to balance everything.

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    2. We miss you there, Kelly, but you know we understand, and I haven't been on as much either.

      Edits on Gabriel with my editor (And her team of editors) has slowed recently, and I guess it's partly with the onset of the winter holidays among whatever else.

      This gives me time to get to things I've neglected.

      It's harder for me to be left "in the dark" on things. When I know WHY and when things are taking longer I can better reallocate my time to things I can do on my own.

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    3. This is a slow industry, Taurean. It sounds like you are seeing that first hand now. Enjoy the moments leading up to your book becoming a book, though. The first time only happens once. Don't be in a hurry to get your book out there because this process is actually really exciting. Take it all in and enjoy it. :)

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    4. Now Kelly, I know what you're saying, but I think you misinterpreted me this time (As I did regarding your post about conrol last week...)

      It's not about speed. It's about communication.

      Remember when I was anxious regarding not hearing back from my editor, that was not because I was wishing to speed up the process, but so I knew how to better handle my pre-release marketing and networking, I'm certainly not ready to see it published right now, but I can't adjust my plan if I'm left in the dark, and I'm very mindful how many projects besides mine are being worked on, but I can best help the book however far along if I have a rough idea. Once I learned my editor's plans for the summer, I calmed down and we went from there. Now I'm kind of in the dark again, but I always give plenty of leeway time before I (politely) followed up.


      Also, it took me 10 YEARS to get to this point, Kelly, so I know it takes patience, but when I heard what my editor had in mind when we first started edits on Gabriel, I relaxed and worked on other things, like my blog and teaser trailers for Gabriel over the summer, but I had to have a rough guide to where the book was to know what to be effective on my end.

      That's why I'm waiting a bit before I share an excerpt, for example. I don't want potential readers to get attached to something that might not be in the final book, you know?

      So I'm trying to network as best I can with not having a lot of things to share yet.

      That doesn't mean I'm not going to be happy when Gabriel's published.

      Really Kelly, this is what I told you not too long ago-

      http://kellyhashway.blogspot.com/2013/09/writer-wednesday-series-vs-standalone.html showComment=1378989199005#c7559286307474222080

      But it's hard to be effective in my pre-publication efforts if I know so little about my book's progress. That's different in my opinion from saying "I want this book out NOW!" (LOL...)

      My point is is that I can't be effective if I'm kept out of the loop. That's not the same as being obnoxiously impatient, which you didn't imply, but I'm just making a general point based on your reply.

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    5. Got ya. Yeah, I did misinterpret that. But even hearing back from an editor takes time. They are busy people.

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    6. I know, but so are we, and I'm just saying that better communication is within reason. That's fair, right?

      That said, I'm very mindful how busy my editor is, but communication is a two-way street.

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    7. I agree. We are busy too, but I've found editors take a while to get back to you. I think it's just something we have to accept and deal with.

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  2. Sometimes our busiest times are our most creative!

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    1. So sorry, Kelly, forgot to say hi to you when I commented....

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    2. Aw, you're sweet. Hi! :)

      That's true. Creativity can come from being busy, and vice versa.

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  3. Life is a roller coaster too... I try to just keep going, which doesn't always work. I still try, though.

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    1. I think that's all we can do sometimes. Keep going.

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  4. I'm in the exact same place as you at the moment. I'm writing multiple stories in two age groups and as many genres as there are projects.

    And at the same time, I'm marketing TVK...

    Best of luck to you!

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    1. Thanks. Best of luck to you too, Misha!

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  5. I hear you. So many ups and downs in this business, especially (for me) with the marketing side of things. It's a struggle sometimes to stay above the swirling vortex of self-doubt.

    Whenever I'm in that "too many projects in too many different places" mode, reality usually sets in and I pull back, get organized and knock out one thing at a time.

    Good luck and keep grinding!

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    1. I think that's what I need to do. Step back and tackle one thing at a time. Thanks, Mike.

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    2. I want to laugh and cry about the "swirling vortex of self-doubt" because that's such a perfect description of how I feel sometimes.

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  6. (Hugs) I recommend watching The Princess Bride and snuggling. Sometimes we just need a break to clear the stress.

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    1. I like that suggestion, Eliza. Thanks. :)

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  7. I appreciate your honesty, Kelly. It does help. Like you, I shuffle the three main kidlit genres, which sometimes makes my head spin. Actually, I think it stalled me over the summer to work on my MG novel. I just couldn't get out of my own way. Plus, with my YA on sub and 2 of my PBs heading out, my brain has a hard time to focus on new writing instead of being concerned with completed works finding homes.

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    1. Yes! I know exactly what you mean, Sheri. It feels like you are being pulled in five different directions. Good luck to you. I can't wait to hear some deal announcements from you. :)

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  8. The publishing industry - I don't think IT knows what it wants to be when it grows up. SMH.

    I just try to keep on, keeping on. Read the trades and the websites, and keep trying to put one word after another, hopefully in an appealing and readable way.

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  9. The publishing business is ups and downs and lefts and rights to the point where North is South. Yup, totally feel like I've been on a herky jerky roller coaster lately, too. The downs have gotten so low, the highs only bring me up to even-keel. I've been searching deep inside myself and stepping away from too much outside voices lately to try and find the middle ground again. Hugs from my little man always help me feel better, so go find that adorable daughter of yours and get some love!

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    1. Great advice, Katie! Thank you. I'm going to do just that. :)

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  10. Aww, Kelly ... if I could give ya a hug through the screen I would! This whole writing thing is tough. It's not for wimps, and seeing how successful you've been for so many years over so many genres - you just knock my socks off. I think we all have the tendency to get down on ourselves from time to time. We're all a bunch of sensitive creatives trying not to be bulldozed by a fickle business. You're super talented, and I know you have another up moment heading your way. I guarantee it!

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  11. Writing and marketing is tough! And when life interferes writing becomes even more of a struggle, but keeping the faith that things will get better is always the strategy in the end. You've got this!

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    1. Thanks, Chrys. I'm really glad we've connected through our blogs. I can tell I really like you already. :)

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  12. Oh wow. I don't have any advice just a cyber-hug and some good luck thrown your way.

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    1. I appreciate the cyber hug and good luck, Johnell. Thanks!

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  13. How do I deal with the ups and downs? A six-hour marathon of the BBC's "Pride and Prejudice" and a good bottle of wine. ;)

    ((hugs))

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  14. A good writer is not a genre writer, but the business of publishing wants (or as the mavens say, NEEDS) to brand in order to sell. The tensions you are experiencing seems to be coming out of that.
    I have no idea how one copes except to re-focus on the most important part of what we do; tell great stories.

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    1. Yeah, I guess that's all we can do. Tell great stories.

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  15. Cheese. I eat lots and lots of cheese. But I also think there's a point at which you have to stop and analyze whether it's all worth it. It takes courage to jump in, it also takes courage to back out. Enjoy the ride, eh?

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    1. lol

      Yeah, I can't ever back out. This is who I am. I have to just find a way to make it all work.

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  16. Sometimes it's good to hear that even the most collected and together among us (I'm looking at you) go through down periods, too. I'm finally swinging up from a really long down period and it's nice to see dawn again. Good luck. We're all here for you, Kelly.

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    1. Thanks, Kiersi. We all have down times, but we do come back up.

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  17. First off, I admire your courage to share. I'm a very positive person, so when I'm feeling down and discouraged I tend to go incommunicato - and that isn't effective at all. So cheers for showing me it is SO OKAY to be human.

    Second, when the stress and pressure of caring for the parts of life you don't love starts to bend you, take charge and make sure each day you do something you do love - even if it doesn't 'fix' anything, or 'move anything forward.' Not only is it possible, but it is okay to enjoy your life while you are taking care of business. Hugs.

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  18. You'll get through it, Kelly! You are so great at what you do. Chin up :).

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  19. That's a great way of thinking of things Kelly, that positive attitude will go far! I believe the exact same thing and is what I tell myself when things don't happen as fast or just as I want them to happen. I hope things pick up for you soon!

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  20. Now all I can think of is what you can't tell us yet... What could it beeeee?????

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  21. You're so right. And writers just have to take the bad along with the good. When my book that was due out in June was delayed and still isn't out, I was pretty gloomy. Then, good news for another book brought back the smiles. Waiting is part of the game too. Hope all works out great for you. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Beverly. I think bad news tend to come before good news.

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  22. At the moment, I tend to take things in the industry in stride. Patience, patience, I tell myself.

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    1. Yeah, you've got to have patience to survive in this industry.

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  23. I always appreciate your honesty! Things can be a wild rollercoaster ride in the publishing world. I hope you find your way up soon and maybe finding some time to relax a little more will give you a little breather (since everything is so crazy). I hope whatever it is that you can't tell us is something good for you!

    Take care!
    Jess

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    1. Jess, whether my secret is good or bad is yet to be seen. I hate having secrets though, so either way, I'll feel better when I can be open with everyone about it.

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  24. The balance of writing and marketing is tough. I have to take breaks to do other fun things.

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    1. Taking breaks is a good idea, Catherine.

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  25. I think all of us writers, in fact all other professions as well, face ups and downs on a regular basis. However, since us writers love what we do so much, the ups and the downs seem even more prominent! Nothing better than getting an acceptance, or seeing our book in print, but nothing worse then a bad review of our writing or a rejection... again. All we can do is enjoy the ups for as long as they last and try not to dwell on the downs. We need to get back to our pen and paper!

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    1. True, Allyn. Everyone faces the down times here and there. We're in good company. :)

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  26. Yes, I have to remind myself constantly that there is going to be an up. Sometimes it takes only something as simple as my husband and I getting away on the motor scooter for a few hours to clear the cobwebs.

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  27. I focus on the end results not on all the work I need to do and the stress it causes. I balance it with relaxing things like playing video games and watching anime.

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  28. It IS a rollercoaster. I think what has kept me going is that I love books too much not to be here. It's about that simple. That and faith that this is my calling.

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  29. I KEEP writing. I am light years behind you, and I get frustrated like any other writer. Once and a while, I want to scream, howl at the moon, kick the tire, but..... I keep writing and submitting. I do believe if what you 'think is going to work' doesn't, turn the tables on what you think is your perfect voice and try something else.

    Also, it helps to have Journey's song, 'Don't Stop Believing' close at hand.

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  30. I like your way of thinking. Writing is definitely full of ups and downs. Sometimes surviving the downs is hard, but we find a way.

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  31. I think the downs are an opportunity to learn something, even though it's sometimes hard to see past the hardships. The ups are always fantastic.

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    1. That's a great point, Medeia. We can learn something from the down times.

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  32. Kelly, you're most right about the 'nowhere else to go but up' bit. We work hard and each step we take piles up behind us. Hope whatever it is you're facing but can't tell us yet works out good soon. Balancing writing and marketing is tough, so I try not to balance it at 50-50. I'm aiming at 70-30 for now. Like what Jess says, I appreciate your honesty!

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    1. Thanks, Claudine. And 70-30 sounds like a good balance to me.

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  33. That is a very good attitude to have when you are down. Wait until it is sunshine and you will be in a great mood to figure things out.

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    1. Yes! Things are always easier to figure out when you are in a good mood.

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