I had a nice experience today. I’d written the URL for TusCon on the back of one of my cards for a favorite waitress a couple of weeks ago (she’s a Harry Potter fan). Today she said she’d been to my website. “I didn’t know you were a writer! I want to read your story Debts.”
That felt pretty great.
I’m still a newbie to publishing, even though I’ve been writing for several years. I’m one of those writers whose name (I hope) will be invoked to newbies in about 20 years: “Do you know how long it took Frankie to make it? Don’t lose hope.”
I do get discouraged sometimes. I question. Drive myself crazy. Should I try to follow a trend? Put more sex in my stories? Less? Write historical? Contemporary?
I know I’m not alone in asking these questions. From rank beginner to experienced pro every writer has doubts. The publishing industry almost seems to be designed to foster insecurity in writers. As a friend said recently, “If you’re not neurotic when you start your career, you will be shortly.”
I’ve given up trying to follow trends. From now on I’m writing what I’m passionate about. I’ll do what I can business-wise to further my career, and keep trying to improve my craft, but the writing has to come from the heart.
This business (and it is a business) is too hard if you don’t enjoy the journey.