Wednesday, January 5, 2022

IWSG: Regrets in my Writing Career

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IWSG: a place where writers and friends share woes or hugs.
Welcome to mine!


Thank you for co-hosting January's posting: Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

The question of the month is: What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

My career has been all over the place. When I first started out, I was full of eagerness and enthusiasm. I participated in book signings, writer's conferences, Q & A panels, critique groups. 

Despite my involvement, I faced so many obstacles. The further I trod, the more resistance I faced: from my connections to the publisher I was with (it had cut so many corners that I lost confidence in their way of doing business). I was so discouraged that I hired a copyright attorney to end my contracts with said publisher and took a year-long break.



When I came back, I lost my fanbase (don't ask where they are now). Marketing had completely changed with the times. What I had been doing no longer worked. I lost my public self!

Monsterkoi/Pixabay



I never stopped writing, though.

Within the past few years, my connections have become deeper, meaningful. Though it has been a slow journey, I know how to make my own book covers, format my own books, how to write a tight query letter, how to whittle 50k+ word novels to a blurb and tagline. I've also had a few books published since my return...but it's still lowkey.

Sometimes I get caught up in wanting to be seen, to be heard, and I lose sight as to why I started all this. I do it for myself but because I love writing so much, I want to share it with the world.

I'm not sure I've overcome my regrets, perhaps learning how to cope and work around them is a sort of healing in itself? 

The piece of wisdom I have is that the journey of writing is just as personal as the next person living a life--it isn't fair to compare our worst with someone else's best. Be open and honest with others, lend a helping hand. Remember that someone's successful book won't detract from yours as books are consumable items--people will always be hungry for good content, they won't stop with one single book forever.

Annie Spratt/Unsplash



What are your regrets in your writing career? How have you overcome them? 

37 comments:

  1. You've had quite the rollercoaster ride, but you seem to have figured out how to hang tight on the downside. Learning to work around and cope with challenges is definitely healing for me.

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    1. I'm an expert in hanging tight! what happens next? x)

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  2. Honestly, I don't want to look back. My past-self is not as smart as I am, and she made mistakes. I could sit and judge, but that might hurt my future-self, and she's fragile as it is. *snort*

    Like you said, our writing paths are personal, and we're following ours wherever they lead. ;-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. That is SO wise! Thank you. Looking back does hurt too much!

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  3. Well, it's been seven years since my last full length novel was released, so I am right there with you. I'll just do what I can and not regret the years in between.

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  4. Just remember that someone’s successful book won’t detract from yours...
    Sound advice! It is easy to be jealous. Thank you.

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    1. It's something a friend had said to me long ago. I try not to forget!

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  5. It's great that you kept writing through all the challenges you faced. And it sounds like you've learned a lot about writing and how to publish your books while plugging along.

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    1. So much locked in one person. I wonder, now what? Haha!

      I do love your website and the many options a writer has there! Thank you for your hard work!

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  6. That's quite a journey! As for lending a helping hand, I've found the writing community to be incredibly welcoming and supportive, not something you can always associate with the creative arts!

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    1. Oh, that's so true! I do love my writerly friends! They're like family.

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  7. Just don't stop writing. Don't give up. You'll find the right path eventually :)

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  8. A bad publisher is a horrible experience. It could poison your perspective of publishing for a long time. I'm glad you recovered and keep going forward.

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    1. It happens more often than I'd like. Authors are wonderful creatures!

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  9. Good on you for writing through it.
    Writing can be stressful for sure.
    Wishing you a creative 2022.

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  10. That was all so rough, but you've come back and changed your path in addition to learning a lot. Continued good luck with moving forward, despite those obstacles.

    The Warrior Muse

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    1. It's hard work! I just need to figure out how to find my angle again.

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  11. It sounds like all those ups and downs have given you a lot of wisdom. Your advice is excellent. Thanks.

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  12. Happy New Year, Elizabeth!
    You have accomplished a lot - making book covers, formatting your own books, writing a tight query letter, writing blurbs and taglines. Congratulations. That's so inspiring.
    It makes me think that, over a period of time, I too can accomplish these things. (as scary as it seems)

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    1. Oh, Michelle, of course you will! Email me, we can brainstorm together! :)

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    2. Thank you! I may just take you up on that invitation. One of these days... 🥰

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  13. I am so sorry you went through all that, but I am glad that you found your way back to writing.

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  14. Thanks for sharing. I did the same thing and am now trying to climb back out trying to be true to myself. I'm glad we're still here.

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  15. I guess you could say your regrets ended up making a more complete writer and publisher. I'm sure the process was painful, but it might have been worth it in the long run. I still have to learn to do many of the things you listed.

    Happy 2022!

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    1. I'm here if you need any thoughts or help. Though I've always shied away from teaching a class (I don't feel qualified enough to do so), I'm happy to mentor! Or share any tips.

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  16. Elizabeth, I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles with your publishers. Good for you being brave enough to end the contract. And more power to you for continuing writing and learning how to do covers, blurbs, taglines, and just moving forward with your work. All best in 2022!

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  17. Great advice from a life well-lived. Thanks so much for sharing this Elizabeth. Here's to many more happy and successful years for you, successful on your own terms.
    Thanks for visiting my blog!

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