This morning I came across a blog about why there are some authors who fail. It was a guest blog over at Rick R. Reed Reality. You can read the full post by Penny C. Sansevieri HERE. After reading this article which was enlightening and made some valid points which I agreed with I commented and started thinking about my career (if you could call it that) as a writer.
I’ve been actively writing fiction for 12 years and have been published for 2 years. Honestly, I did not know what I stepped into when I decided to jump off the safety of my own porch and into the muddy waters of publishing. I learned far quicker than some people just how damn naive I was about the industry. Most of my writing I did prior to being published was in the fan fiction community. It was a great place not only to hone my skills, but also to toughen my skin up. See if you’re going to jump in the swamp with the alligators you’d better have a thick skin and/or one hell of a weapon aka self-confidence. Gators are evil little bastards that can snap you like a twig.
Yes, I’m comparing being in the publishing industry with being in the middle of an alligator feeding frenzy. 😀 I hope no one feels insulted because that’s just my own personal observation. There are days that I have a doubting moment about choosing to jump into the swamp and that little voice in the back of my head yelps quite loud Are you fucking crazy? Get out before you’re swallowed whole–no chewing required!
It’s days like that when I realize that I am either one tough cookie or just certifiably insane. I prefer thinking I’m tough rather than crazy. Although, being crazy might be fun–hell I’ve been called worse. 😉
Attitude is very important if you’re going to be successful especially in this day and age of social networking. You honestly don’t know who’s watching your every step or reading your every word. Once it’s out there in the ether-net there’s no taking it back. Professionalism and courtesy are a prerequisite in this business. As my mom used to say You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Of course, few people get that. I think we’ve lost the ability to communicate in a mature and courteous manner sometimes. Oh there’s always been those sour people who think only of themselves, there always will be. Having been in some type of customer service my entire life I get that. Those type of people will never be happy no matter what you say or do. They have an over inflated sense of self-importance and believe that others should bow before them as if the world owes them. Frankly, my parents raised me better than that.
I treat people the way I hope they will treat me, but that doesn’t mean I allow myself to be stomped on. There was a situation recently that I experienced where where another writer accused me of only receiving a good review from someone because of the site it appeared on. Why the person would attack me personally over something like this just shot over my head. I didn’t know the reviewer or that they had picked my book. I wasn’t friends with them. Hell, I’d never spoken to the reviewer. It just so happened that I was an occasional contributor to this particular site. Call me crazy, but I told the person in question exactly that in the nicest way possible. They didn’t reply back. This is my way of dealing with the gators–kill ’em with kindness.
Call me crazy, but it’s worked so far. I figure if Jesus can walk on water why can’t I stomp through alligators. *chuckles* Yeah, that’s me…one wild and crazy writer.
Just be on the look out for the flying paper…