Wednesday, June 5, 2024

#IWSG--it's always changing

 Welcome to another episode of How the Book Turns--a blog run of authors across the globe as we wail, gnash teeth, and generally love what we do--join us!

The awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Liza at Middle Passages, Shannon Lawrence, Melissa Maygrove, and Olga Godim!

Today I'm looking at changes in our writing world and how they are the one constant we have.

Way back in grad school, I knew what to do. Take the courses, write the papers, design, propose, and defend my thesis, and then get my degree. Easy, peasy. (Ignoring the massive amount of work—the work was hard, but the path was easy šŸ˜‰)

Sadly, writing doesn't work that way. Oh, the writing part is the same, more, or less, kinda sorta. Read some books from 50 years ago in your genre. Some are classics, some make you wince. Writing styles and preferences change with time.

But it's the business end and getting the elusive readers and sales that can be soul-crushing, confusing, and maddening.

There isn’t a nice clean go from point A to B to C to success. And even when you have some success (whatever you define it—we all have our own valid success metrics) the next month, week, or even day, it can crumble.

The graph for most writers is an insanely swirling line that goes up, down, sideways, backward, and sometimes into a black hole.

So, how do we cope?

Good question!

The first thing I’d suggest is to sort out what success means to you. You don’t need to tell anyone. Just you. That success can change, and doesn’t need to be related to numbers—aka “Sell X number of books” or “Make X number of dollars”. It can be as general and vague as you want. And it can and should change as you work your way through this writing path.

Secondly—don’t change everything because a successful author said to do things a certain way. Yes, they might have succeeded doing exactly what they are telling others to do. BUT- unless you have the same books they do, the exact same skills they have, your situation will be different.

And their way might have worked six months ago, or longer, but not now. I’m not saying don’t listen to other authors—do! šŸ˜Š. But listen to what they say carefully, pluck out the parts that resonate with you, dump the rest, and move on.

The biggest thing is EXPECT THINGS TO CHANGE. I’m definitely a “prefers a nice clean path of what to do and what my results will be” gal. Sadly, I’m a writer and that option doesn’t exist. I’m now working on accepting that and pivoting way more than I used to.

What about you? How do you deal with change in the writing world?

Happy IWSG Day!








  1. I wish there was a clear publishing path too. I agree with you that it's important to accept that things in publishing change all the time and that we need to define our successes in different ways that aren't all focused on getting published.

  2. Oh yeah, no clear path. It's overrun with side trails! šŸ˜ It's good to remember that what worked 10 years ago--heck even a couple of years ago, might not work now.

    Bu the way, I love all your covers!

    1. So many side trails! Thank you for coming by and for the comment about my covers :).

  3. What a lovely post. I agree, 100%.

  4. I've been in this business 20 years now, and it has changed SO much! Marketing really depends on the author and the genre, so many marketing ideas don't fit every book.

    1. You have a few years on me. I'd been writing for a long time, but didn't start publishing until2015, But things have changed SO much, even in nine years!
      Thank you for coming by!

  5. Interesting post, Marie! I primarily write nonfiction, and I decided years ago that success for me was the actual writing. Being able to express myself, having a voice, is very important. Happy creating in June!

    1. Thank you and that's an excellent way to see success! Happy creating to you as well, and thank you for coming by!

  6. I definitely learned a long time ago ( though maybe not soon enough) that depending on other writers for your model of writing success does not work. Yes, each of are different in our writing journeys, and even though it's important to listen to the advice and success of more experienced writers, on another level we have to go our own writing journey that fits our own needs, personalities and experiences.