Writing Conference Update

I attended an amazing writing conference this weekend and am once again rejuvenated about my writing.  the last few weeks have been crazy and my life has amounted pretty much to keeping a number of plates spinning in the air.  This was especially challenging since the plates appeared to have a suicidal death wish and wanted to plunge to the ground the moment my attention wandered.

But, (at the moment, anyway) the plates appear to be spinning happily and I’m ready to write.  Following some of the advice and discussions of today’s seminar, I’ve decided to shake up the format of my blog.  I need to write in a way that interests me and hopefully interests my readers.  (Hi Mom!)

Rather than committing to writing essays like this one, or feeling guilty for topics that don’t focus on my writing, I’m going to share a few highlights (probably in bullet or list form) of “A Day in the Life of an Unpublished Novelist.”

Some days (like today ‘s entry) will center around writing or experiences related to writing. Other days will be a bit more eclectic.  Here’s my first try – let me know what you think:

  • I learned the following facts today:
    • 10% of published books turn a profit.  These 10% support the financial costs of publishing the 90% of books that don’t make a profit.
    • Authors earn approximately 7-9% of the profit on their books.  Publishing is the only industry that would stand for such a low return on investments.  Can you see Donald Trump settling for 7%?
    • Agents take non-fiction proposals over fiction proposals by an exponentially higher number. 
  • When faced with rejection from an agent, take a moment to be disappointed.  (This advice probably applies to any disappointment.)  When rejected, don’t try to sugar-coat it or excuse it.  Literally say, “I’m going to take a moment to be disappointed by that rejection.”  Then, TAKE the moment.  Let yourself feel it.  Then, (and here is the really important part) after the moment is over, freaking GET OVER IT!  Shake it off!  Move on!
  • I walked away with a list of resources I want to check out:
    • Grubstreet.org
    • Loft.org
    • Publishersweekly.com
    • Newpages.com
  • A writer gets published by taking on an idea that’s common enough to already have been proven successful, but unique enough that no one before has communicated the message in exactly the same way.  No small feat.
  • I had the BEST sandwich today.  (Hey, I told you my updates were going to be eclectic…)  It was one of those post-Thanksgiving turkey, cranberry & stuffing sandwiches that was probably bigger than my head.  I’ve been eating incredibly healthy food lately, and do not go off the wagon lightly.  When I do, it is with a great and satisfying flourish.  And a side of extra mayo.
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5 thoughts on “Writing Conference Update

  1. Glad to hear you’re re-energized and keeping those plates in the air! Love the picture of the flowers… did you take that? Are you starting a new search for an agent or are you focusing on a current writing project? Good luck!

    1. I took the picture of the flowers on my trip to the Bahamas. I have two leads on an agent that I’m going to see through, then take a little rest I think and focus back on writing.

  2. “A writer gets published by taking on an idea that’s common enough to already have been proven successful, but unique enough that no one before has communicated the message in exactly the same way.”

    I like that. Coming up with a new twist on a successful idea sounds a lot easier than coming up with a completely new idea.

  3. Sounds a little scary to me. So, I would put the plates on the table; get everything done that needs to done. Pour a cup of coffee, sit in front of your computer, and be true to your instincts, and what I’ve read of your blogs, I think you’ve got the talent to be a great writer. Good luck!

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