Happy Birthday, Seekerville! It's Mia Ross, stopping by with streamers and party hats to help with your celebration. It feels like you've been around forever, connecting authors with readers, with a large helping of writerly advice thrown in for flavor. I'm not an original Seeker, but Ruthy invited me here years ago, assuring me I'd find some kindred spirits on Unpubbed Island. Boy, was she right!
As my contribution to the party, she asked me to share some of the things I've learned since leaving the island 2 years ago. There are s-o-o many, but here's a countdown of my top 3.
3. When an editor starts working with you on your book, it's not your book anymore.
This hint might seem obvious, but we're talking about your baby, the project you've spent months or years polishing. So it can be tough to hear things like, "We need to pick up the pace," or, "Take out the first 3 chapters and start with the funeral." Yup, heard 'em both on my first Love Inspired book, and it wasn't easy, let me tell you. Neither were the other 10 pages in that revision letter. I found myself wondering what Melissa Endlich saw in this story that was such a mess. We went back and forth twice before I got that first contract, but I learned a lot, so the next revision letter was only 4 pages. Definite progress!
2. Ignore the noise.
Actually, this was the motto for the rebuilding Houston Astros baseball team this season, but I recently adopted it for myself. When I start feeling overwhelmed, it's never my writing that does me in--it's everything else. When you're an author, your product has two parts: the books and you. That means you're responsible for things like websites and media postings, and if you pay too much attention to reviews and how many people mention you on Twitter, your writing will suffer and you'll go nuts. Find a level of connectedness that works for you and stick with it. Keeping your emotions on an even keel helps you not just professionally but personally as well.
1. Life first.
For me, this means family first. Kids only grow up once, and I want to enjoy those years because once they're gone, you can't get them back. Also, I still have my original husband, and I'd like to keep it that way ;) When I realized I was at the bottom of my own priority list, I revised it so it went like this: family, me, work, writing. That approach to life suits both my professional needs and my personal philosophy, so it's a much more comfortable situation for me.
Okay, now it's your turn. We learn a lot throughout our lives, and I know lots of you must have other lessons to add. They can be writing-related or not, your choice. Post your favorite and you'll be entered in the drawing for one of 3 copies of Rocky Coast Romance, the first book in my new Holiday Harbor series for Love Inspired. Have a great day!
I love great stories. I enjoy reading about fascinating people, long-ago times, and exotic places. But only for a little while, because my reality is pretty sweet. Married to my college sweetheart, I’m the proud mom of two amazing kids whose schedules keep me hopping. Busy as I am, I can't imagine trading my life for anyone else's--and I have a pretty good imagination. You can visit me online at www.miaross.com.