I'm often asked, especially by myself, how I keep up my work rate.

I've now written five books in just over six years, I think, and yes, at times it's been hard. Not least because the publishing industry is so fickle, so open to highs and lows.

I've had a lot of 'success' compared to many writers, and for that I am grateful, yet I've also had my share of rejection, editorial sharp elbows, poor reviews etc. I'm also as vulnerable as anyone to what may happen in the future. I cannot be certain that after book six I will ever have anything published again. Ever...

Despite the obvious downsides of this biz, I remain though, pretty happy. I wouldn't do it if I wasn't.

Indeed I'll never understand those writers for who the whole process is one long sick-making episode of torture. Why put yourself through that? There are places you can go and pay to have yourself whipped and wotnot if that's your deal.

But even those of us who take things in our stride, would be lying if we said we were never affected. On a grey autumn day, looking down the barrel of a deadline, even I, Queen Pollyanna, am tempted to stick my foot through my PC at the sight of an email from a loyal reader telling me she 'can't get hold of a copy of my latest...'

So what do I do to stave off, if not despair, despondency? How do I keep up the momentum?

1. I remind myself that no-one is making me do this. I can go back to the day job any old time.
2. I focus on my successes and not on my failures (I know this sounds easy when I've got real life books I can touch, but encouragement of any form will work just as well).
3. I turn to Elizabeth Gilbert, in particular the video of a speech she gave not long after EPL became a world wide success. If you haven't seen it before I promise you it will became one of your fave motivators, if you have, can I urge you to watch it again, you won't be sorry. Then save it for any time you need a pep talk.

So pour yourself a cuppa and enjoy...[[]]


BJ Kerry said...

Its not very inspiring for unpublished writers to hear a published writer with 5 books under her belt say 'I can always go back to the day job' and 'I may never publish another'.........Argh.
That is very bleak - throw us a bone will you.

Geraldine Ryan said...

I loved this, Helen. Many thanks for sharing. She is so right. BJ Kerry, did you listen Elizabeth's Gilbert's speech? What Helen is writing about here might make more sense if you do.

Helen Black said...

Thing is BJ, I really don't think any of us can assume we'll always remain published.
I know too many great writers, people with much more skill than I, who have been shelved by their publishers.

That's just how it is. But I don't think that should be a cause for despair necessarily. As Elizabeth G says, I'm just doing my job ie the writing, the rest is up to someone else.
HB x

BJ Kerry said...

ok.ok. I'll stop being such a grump and put on my happy face. And while I'm at it I'll get off my £&& and do some writing. Or shouldn't that be get back on it?

DT said...

Remain published??? Gulp. I haven't even got to the podium yet!

Roderic Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roderic Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.