Thursday, August 11, 2011

Writers Can Change

Longtime friends are moving away. They decided they needed to downsize and also move to a warmer climate. No hurry, they told us. We'll put the house on the market and take it off in 4 months it it doesn't sell, try again in the spring. The first person to walk through on the first day bought it! Suddenly, their lives were turned upside down. They hadn't decided where they were going to settle, and they had to be out in a matter of 6 weeks. Change suddenly became the keyword in their life.

Writers face changes, too. Lots of them. Look how the publishing industry has done aerobatic loops and turns these last couple of decades. Self-publishing, once sneered at, has suddenly become a big deal for writers. Those who pedaled manuscripts from agent to agent and publisher to publisher unsuccessfully now have an easier way to get their book read by the public.

If you do manage to sell a book to a publisher, they no longer do all the marketing. The writer is expected to dive in headfirst in what may be deep water for them. And that's only one change in publishing houses.

Magazines look for material that is very different from what they sought one, two, or three decades ago. They've always looked for good writing and they still are. It's just a different style and different subjects that they want now. Can you change with them?

Some changes have been terrific. How much easier it is to send a submission via email or electronic form than to snail mail your copy and SASE. And let's not forget how we had to change from working on a typewriter (you do remember those, don't you?) to learning how to operate a computer.

There are always going to be changes in our personal lives and in our writing lives, as well. The writer who stubbornly refuses to change is left sitting on the curb while the other kids are having fun. We have to be willing to make changes if we want to continue having our work published. We can do it if we change one important thing first--attitude.

If ebook publishing scares you to death, stop shaking, and research the process step by step. It might not seem so daunting then. Talk to others who have published more than one ebook. Whenever a new change comes along in your writing world, approach it calmly and open yourself to learning. In the long run, it will be to your benefit. Have an "I can do this!" attitude.

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