Thursday, October 21, 2010

Buzz and Business vs. Writing and Crackers

Molly posted this week about the business of publishing. How we struggle to determine if you’re successful, growing, moving up and catching some industry buzz. How sometimes this can thrill you or drive you crazy.

And I was thinking… yeah, yeah… I know what that’s like. Such a smart post. Because when your book comes out you look for reviews. You do a bunch of crazy Google searches to see if anyone is talking about the book. Sometimes even the negative stuff gives you a jolt. If they really hate it, at least you know they are passionate about hating it.

I remember all those feelings… but I feel so far away from it now. When my agent told me to write the book that I had proposed I was excited and nervous because I knew the scope of the job I was taking on. Now months behind my own personal schedule (I wanted it done by 10/1 – we’re looking more like 12/1 at this point) I feel removed from the publishing world.

I realize it’s like a completely different occupation. There’s writing. There’s publishing. They are sooo different.

I’m totally out of the loop. I’m not checking my email for news from my agent or editor because there is no news. I’ve got nothing out on submission. No proposal that I’m waiting for someone to decide on… nothing. Just a book that’s 100 pages away from being done and a couple of weeks from being anywhere close to the point that I can show it to people.

I have to say… I’m not crazy about this feeling. I would much rather being moaning that I haven’t heard back from someone, waiting on that horrible precipice of acceptance or rejection. Or scanning the Internet wondering if anyone out there even knows who Stephanie Doyle is.

Instead I’m just writing and writing and nervously eating Triskets because I can’t think of what this character should do or what this character should say. Wondering the whole time if I’ve wasted five months writing a book that’s never going to see the light of day. And of course what that set back will mean to my career.

Writing and Publishing… yeah. The same, but different.

Which one is harder?


Sinead M said...

Writing is so much easier. Publishing is hard. It's hard to have faith in yourself and the writing, hard not to question everything you've done and are about to do.

That's why we need writer friends, who understand. Steph, I have no doubt that the book is amazing, and the extra time, in the end, will be completely worth it.

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm with Sinead. If we didn't care if more than our friends and family read our stories, then this wouldn't be so hard. Sure, we'd still agonize over what our characters should do or say next, but without so much pressure hanging over it.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Sinead - thanks for the vote of confidence!

Maureen - you're right. As always :)

On a completely unrelated note... what are you packing for this conf?

I forget from last time - do I need a cocktail dress? I forget if there are any dressy events.

Eileen said...

I keep saying that I'm staying in the business until the joy of writing is eclipsed by the agony of publishing. They are so different.

Now, put down the Triscuits. Put 'em down now. I don't even know which conference you're going to, but always pack the cocktail dress. You know how I love it when you're all dolled up. :-)

Chevy Stevens said...

It's true, publishing and writing are not the same beast.

And if I turn my keyboard upside down and shake it, all I get is crumbs from all the crackers I've consumed.

Maureen McGowan said...

Hey, Steph! I'm already in NJ. I didn't pack much. I didn't bring a cocktail dress... but I did bring one dress that I sure hope fits. G'ah. Or I'll be wearing the jeans I came in every day (or heading off to the Macy's) :)

See you tomorrow!

(PS. Molly, Stephanie and I are all at the New Jersey Romance Writers conference this weekend. Whoop!)

Molly O'Keefe said...

You know - it's like we're olympic athletes...let's say swimmers. Swimming for us is easy. We're all very thin. But then we look around to see what the competition is doing, we start paying attention to the rumors and gossip, we start measuring ourselves up against the rumours and gossip and suddenly swimming isn't easy. Swimming is compeition - some people love it. They really get off on it and that's awesome - but swimming and racing are two different things.

I love triscuits and if they are helping you figure out what your charaters need to say - those are magic triscuits. And I would like some.

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