Perspective: Or It's About the Stories, Stupid

Sometimes, as authors, it's really easy to get wrapped up in stupid shit. The internet is a virtual minefield for one's ego. A gauntlet of potential neurosis. Stupid flame wars, debates over non-issues, chicken little prophecies. Add to that the scary news about bookstore closings and dire predictions on the demise of all of our careers unless we give our publishers the finger and become bookpreneurs and it's a wonder any of us get anything done.

But you know what's awesome for one's perspective? Taking a week off.

Last week was spring break for Spawn so we headed out of town for a week of fun. It wasn't anything elaborate. But it was a change of pace and a much needed break after the craziness of a book launch combined with revisions on my next book. Normally, it's really hard for me to do anything non-writing related without feeling guilty. But last week, I allowed myself a week without stressing about deadlines or obligations or tweeting or blogging or anything else that normally clogs my daily writer life to do list. I checked email and my horoscope but little else online. And you know what? My mind is now brimming with story ideas that weren't there a week ago. I realized there's a whole world out there beyond publishing and the internet and silly arguments over the placement of semicolons and what will be "the new vampire." It was glorious.

Of course, then I get back to work yesterday and find the internets all aflame with news of game changing and other bullshit. I get it. Publishing is changing. There's no denying that. But you know what's not going to change? A good story well told will always be in demand. It may not be in demand in the same formats we all grew up with. Writers might have to get more resourceful to make money telling them. But the stories? They ain't going anywhere.

So while I am probably not alone in having brain cramps trying to figure out where the hell all this is going, I can't focus on it. I won't. Because the stories are waiting to be told. All the rest will work itself out.


Megan Haskell said…
Well said! I keep catching myself thinking about publishing, and the business side of things, when I just need to finish my story. If I'm a writer, I have to write!! I can figure the rest out later.

After I finish my WIP, I'm going to have to try taking a break. Hopefully it will give me as many ideas as it gave you!
Roberta Walker said…
Being aspiring, I really dislike reading all the scare tactics out there telling me that basically, I've got no chance unless I self-publish, only to sell a handful of copies to friends, after which I will go bankrupt and be forced to move into a cardboard box. Screw that! I'm out to tell a good story. I will not let myself believe that I can't!
Jaye Wells said…
Roberta, your tenacity will take you far. Go do the damned thing!
Cheri said…
Roberta, Never give up! Never surrender! Christoper Paolini self-published his first book, Eragon; Daniel Suarez did too. J.K. Rowling went through 13 rejections before she was picked up. Work around, through, over and under - but keep working!

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