My Writing/Working in Publishing Journey & Being Transparent
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Publishing is sooo secretive isn’t it?
Vague author tweets. - When we want to be shouting our news from the rooftop, but until we’re told we otherwise, or a contract is signed, or our book is out there on publishers marketplace, our mouths must be kept closed and our fingers Must. Not. Type. The. Secret. Good news. NEVER EVER!
I’ve written vague tweets/ IG posts, and one recently.
“Eeek! I’ve had some positive writing news!”
On Twitter/X it got 223 likes, which for me and lately for Twitter is a lot. Yet no one knows what the news is. Just that it’s good writing news. And that’s one of the reasons the writing community is one of the best ones out there. You are all so bloody lovely!
If you want to get involved in a supportive, uplifting and welcoming place, the writing community, especially the #Kidlit community, is the one. It will be there with you, holding you up, standing with you, supporting you, being a shoulder to cry writers’ tears on and include some of the best friends you can have. And that’s why I feel being transparent (as much as I can) is so important. This doesn’t mean I’ll not post a vague publishing post now and then, but alongside, I plan to share my journey. Not just the positives, but the negatives too. Because the quantity of negatives often outweigh the quantity of positives, but… and it’s a big BUT – The QUALITY of positives is what matters. And that doesn’t mean a PUBLISHING DEAL.
Although this is the dream!
It’s knowing you are good enough, feeling proud of what you’ve written, where you’ve come from, your progression, your kindness, your ability to, against all odds, WRITE A FRICKIN’ BOOK!
The Guilt is Real
We often don’t want to share our journeys. We feel guilty if we get good news, because we know others are struggling and we don’t want to rub it in their faces. We also don’t want to appear too negative, because our news might not be as bad as someone else’s or we don’t want to put our worries/negativity on others.
I’m not going to lie and say that every time I’ve seen someone's good news, I’ve never had an ounce of jealousy, because there’s been times I’ve wished the good news was mine. But did I still feel over the moon for the other writer? Proud of that writer? Excited for them? Did I, once imposter syndrome went to sleep feel that it could be me sharing that same news one day too? Did I congratulate that writer and truly mean every word?
OF COURSE I DID!
But then someone might share some ‘not so good’ news, and does the writing community rally round them? Lift them? Encourage them?
Did I do this?
OF COURSE I DID!
Did I ever wish they’d kept their good or bad news to themselves?
OF COURSE NOT!
Share! Share! Share! (If you want to!)
My point here is, that whether you’re sharing news that you’ve signed with an agent, got a six-figure publishing deal, finished your novel, got a full MS request, been longlisted for a competition, written 2000 words towards your novel, 1 word even, you know what? This is amazing, and it’s news to be shared and cheered on. We want to revel in your good news and we want to wish you all the best.
But what if you part ways with your agent? What if the deal falls through? What if the agent/editor didn’t take on the full? What if you don’t make the shortlist? What if you can’t write a damn word because imposter syndrome has got you by the ‘you know what's’?
These are some things WE ALL have experienced or will experience at some point, and we want to be there for you when this happens. Sharing this news is hard, but you know what, if it helps even one other writer know they are not alone, or they are justified in feeling crappy at that moment, then that negativity can be turned into something positive.
So be transparent. Share your highs and your lows if you want to. Please don’t feel guilty or worry what the writing community may think. Because, as a part of it, I am there for you. Good or bad, us writers have your back!
TOGETHER, WE’VE GOT THIS!
Photo taken by Tammy Angelis (TabbyKatStudio) at the Children's Publishing Picnic 2023.