Hello peoples! Welcome to Expectation vs. Reality part 2! Last week, we had the writer’s edition, in which I debunked eight myths regarding...

Thoughtful Thursdays: Expectation vs. Reality 2: Publishing Edition

Hello peoples! Welcome to Expectation vs. Reality part 2! Last week, we had the writer’s edition, in which I debunked eight myths regarding the actual writing process. Today, we’re going to talk specifically about the publishing industry and writing as a career.


Expectation:
My mom/best friend/spouse/other significant other read my book and said it was good. Theirs is the only critique I need.

Reality:
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Unless your mother/best friend/spouse/other significant other is an editor for HarperCollins or Scholastic... no. Just no.

Not to say that you shouldn’t seek the critiques of these people, but pretty often, they’ll sugarcoat things so as not to hurt your feelings. Which, admittedly, is sweet and everything, but painfully counterproductive, and actually harmful to your craft. I’d rather have my feelings hurt than my writing career; feelings, after all, will heal (probably). But if I never know I need to get better, I never will.

Of course you may have someone who understands that, who’ll tell you the truth even when it makes you wish you were a millionaire just so you could not put them in your will. Even so, you’ll still probably need more critiques than that person’s. Their perspective is only one and, as writing is a painfully subjective pursuit, you need a few more before you can have a good idea of how good your book actually is.

Expectation:
First query reply be like:

giphy.com
Reality:

giphy.com. This is me, not the publisher. But anyway. 
Oh, sweetie. You don’t even know. Unless you are astronomically lucky, you’ll have to send out quite a few queries before you even get a bite, much less a contract.

Expectation:
Publishing will be quick and relatively easy like it was for Anne Shirley and Jo March.

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Reality:
I think the authors wrote it this way purely out of wishful thinking. Like I said, you may have to send out numerous queries before you even get a bite. Then, if you go the agenting route, you have to do another round of waiting while the agent queries publisher. Then another round while the publishers convinces his team. And then another round while... well, you get the picture. Publishing takes forever.

giphy.com
Expectation:
Everyone will adore my book. Even if there are critics, they’re just haters because I am perfect and so is my story.

giphy.com
Reality:
Okay, so there’s actually a grain of truth (albeit a tiny one) in this myth: yes, some critics are haters, and we’ve all come across a couple. But more often, these so-called “haters” are people offering genuine constructive criticism and, in their own way, trying to help you better your craft. Admittedly, they’re often jerks in their communication, and I’d never say to believe everything you read. But look at each comment the way prospectors looked through pans of sand carefully. Searching for the spark of gold amid the useless crap.
Expectation:
Writing is freedom.

Reality:
Again, we have the grain of truth. Writing is freedom: you get to wake up when you want to, wear what you want to, work when you want to, etc. Nobody makes you do anything because you’re a writer, you work for yoself, and you get to do what you like.

giphy.com
But the thing is, since you are your own employer, you have to give yourself your own restrictions and be disciplined about them. If waking up at 12 p.m. means you don’t have time to write, well than you, my friend, are going to have to get up earlier. And writing just a few minutes a day or only when you’re “inspired”? Yeah, that’s not gonna cut it. Most of the time, you’re inspiration’s hiding under that heap of really hard work and it won’t come out till you go looking for it.

Besides all that, you have to be a good editor, researcher, businessperson, interviewer, and general multi-tasker if you ever intend to have your pretty little baby see the light of day.

Writing is freedom, but within that freedom, is it’s own kind of bondage.

***

Depending on whether your glass is half-full or half-empty, that was either really amusing or really depressing. Most of these just came down to “writing is easy,” when in reality:

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Or at least close to it.

So why do us crazies do it anyway? Simple. Because we’re writers and we wouldn’t have our reality any other way.

Well, it could be a teensy bit easier. I wouldn’t exactly complain about that.

Anyway.

Do you agree with these? Disagree? Have more expectations vs. reality quotes to share? See you in the comments!

Again, thanks to the GTW facebook group for helping me with this! :D

Also, sorry there was no Monday post this week! I'd just gotten back from a weekend in another state and I was feeling lazy.





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4 comments:

  1. This is a cool post! That's so neat that you used my expectation and reality from the GTW page lol. I love the gifs. Gifs help express so much lol.

    Stori Tori's Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for giving me that idea! :) And yeah, gifs are awesome! I was so glad I could find good ones for this post.
      And thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D

      Delete
  2. Pretty much: Yes. Especially for me, it's really hard to write when I'm not writing, if that makes sense... Like, I expect writing to be easy and it is when I'm in the writing zone, but I kind of have a one-track mind and until the project is over, then I don't really like doing other things. It's a problem. :/

    If only things were different, but they aren't. :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I got you. Often, getting started is the hardest part. But once you /do/ get started, you can get so deep in the zone, you don't want to leave. But you have to. *sighs* Writer's life is difficult.
      Haha, yup, pretty basically.

      Delete

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