Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Survival Tip #9 - Chill Out

There will be things in this business that will irritate the holy beans right out of you.  There will be people in this business that will make you want to tear your hair out.  There will be instances when you want to beat your head on the desk until the desk breaks or you pass out - whichever comes first.

There will be people who mispronounce your name.  There will be people who put you on email lists and Goodreads groups.  They will invite you to things on Facebook.  They will sign you up for newsletters.  You will get spam from every organization that ever had a toe in the seamier side of publishing.

You'll get one-star reviews.  You'll get snotty comments.  You'll have people say they hate your work or that they hate you.  There will be readers who just didn't get what you were trying to say, and there will be ones who got what you were saying and hated it anyway.  

When any of this happens, chill out.

At least in public.  In private you can wail and gnash your teeth.  You can call every single person who ever pissed you off all the vile names you can think of.  You can turn into the nastiest, most petty person who ever walked the earth - as long as you do it where no one in the industry can hear you.

And even then, after you loose all that frustration on your private world.

Chill out.

It's hard to work with all that anger seeping through your pores.  Well, unless you really need to write that kind of scene.  Channeling all that into some excellent, tension filled writing is a great way to chill out.  As long as it's chilling you out and not riling you back up again until you do something stupid.

Because in this business, writers (and even agents and publishers) who don't just chill out drive people away.  Who wants to work with someone who lets all the little things whip them into a frenzy?

Just a thought.  What do you think?

*FYI - It's entirely possible that as you're reading this I'm partway into a journey to Michigan, so I won't be around to moderate comments after a certain point today.  Leave one anyway and it'll be up on the site as soon as I can get to a computer with internet access. 


  1. Another piece of excellent advice, B.E. This business suit needs to be of the thickest skin, for all the reasons you mentioned and then a ton more 'stuff' that could derail you if you let it.

  2. Great post, hun. A lot of writers think that once they reach a certain point in their career, they can say or do whatever they want. Not true. You need to appeal to readers, so you can alienate them by spouting out your views on __________. I can't count how many authors I've turned away from simply because I didn't like their attitude. Would I have liked their books? Maybe. But that didn't matter to me. I didn't want to support the diva, lol.

    I hope you have a safe trip!

  3. Bingo! You hit every button. Absolutely excellent advice! Have a safe trip! We'll see you next week when you get home.

  4. Definitely good advice. People totally shoot themselves in the foot when they act out about stuff. If you want to write professionally, you have to behave professionally.


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