My heart sank a little at last weekend’s conference when Chuck Sambuchino, the keynote speaker, said he’d been writing, and steadily climbing the publishing ladder, for ten years.
I was first published in the ’80s, so that’s, uh, longer.
But Chuck did say something valuable, something I’d forgotten. He talked about how there is so much about being a writer we can’t control. We can’t control how our writing will be received by agents, editors, publishers, or reviewers. We can’t control rejection. We can’t control bad reviews. Novelists, unless they’re indie, can’t even control the cover that appears on their books. Bloggers can’t control page views or Google ratings or spammers or negative commenters.
The good news from Chuck is that there is ONE thing writers can control and it is the most valuable thing of all: our writing. We control the words on the page and there is no more heady feeling than that. We also control IF we decide to write. IF we put our butts in chairs and do it without getting distracted by Twitter. (Or is that just me?)
I took heart with Chuck’s words and as I revise my novel-in-progress, I vow to make those words the very best I can, because if they are good words, and good stories, people will notice. Content is Queen. It’s all we’ve got and it’s under our control.
There is so much in life we have no control over. You are right to focus on what you can control. Funny you mention Twitter. I heard an interview yesterday on NPR with a guy who’s written a book about Twitter and ironically he has removed Twitter from his phone because he found he was constantly checking it; he replaced it with an app so he can access books he can instead read when he has spare minutes in line, etc.
Yes, what a hard lesson that was for me to learn. More specifically, I cannot control what other people think of me. And Twitter can get you. I’m softly addicted.
I’ve used Twitter, but not that much.