Peggy Bechko: Writers Worry – A Lot

From Peggy’s wonderful blog:

Friend writers have you ever thought about how many things we writers worry about, think about, consider and fret over that we can’t do anything about?

I mean really, there’s enough for us to get our angst on about like characters, chapter length, artwork for the book cover, how the editor is doing, what the next book will be, and on and on, without chewing our nails over what we can do nothing about.

I dunno, maybe writers like to worry. Maybe it’s in the blood.


It’s time to man-up, woman-up, shake it off and realize things change. They evolve. Sometimes they get better, sometimes worse, sometimes the whole change thing seems like it wasn’t worth the effort in the first place but it happens anyway.

People in general hate change. Writers may be even worse, locked away in our own little worlds, creating those worlds, tucked away in whatever comfort zone feels best and just keeping things normal and comfy.

So, let’s face it, we need to direct our focus away from things beyond our control.

Such as:

Your agent is retiring. Well it had to happen some time. So find a new one. Get folks to refer you. Go it alone. Move forward. You can’t change the fact that that particular agent is going to his or her rest – oh, um, I mean retiring, though my advice would remain the same if he or she outright died on you.

The future of books is another biggie. And I do mean biggie. It’s a broad subject. I mean why are we as writers gnashing our teeth over whether books are going to be conventional print or Ebooks or audio books or print on demand books or… well you get it. First of all, really really big corporations are going to have a lot of input as to how that sifts out. Secondly, we as writers have much more control these days. We can do POD or digital editions, even audio editions on our own if we want. That we can fret over and worry over. What the big boys choose to do we can’t change.

There’s a lot of fretting, teeth gnashing and general twitterizing over what Amazon is going to do next. I don’t know, do you? I mean it’s the elephant in the living room of publishing and no doubt it will remain so. There you are. Will worry, hair-tearing and tooth-grinding change anything for a writer in the ‘what will Amazon do” arena? Nope. Use the tools and shake it off.

There’s a lot of worry and a lot of local hand-wringing about what future a small bookstore will have in all this publishing upheaval. I understand the small bookstore owner worrying. I also understand readers perhaps afraid they’ll lose their favorite small bookstore to the current economic climate (I don’t want to see the indie bookstore close either). But the truth of the matter is we writers can’t do a thing about the small bookstore’s economics. We can just keep writing – so we do. It probably would be better for us if we did it with a bit less high anxiety.

I see a lot being written pro and con about blogging and facebook and twitter and pinterest and, well, you know the whole social networking thing. Here’s the thing, we as writers are going to have to promote. It’s likely we’ll be responsible for more promoting than ever before. I blog. You can to if you like, but you don’t have to. You can social network – or not. The decision is yours. So stop worrying about it. Do it, don’t do it, let go already.

A writer writes. The more writing the better. So it would seem a little less time spent on worrying and fretting and gnashing and hair-tearing – unless you want to do that over your latest creative writing endeavor – and a bit more time actually writing would be of great benefit.

What do you think?


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