Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Think Fearlessly, Act Locally
So, I spent last week putting the final touches on my MS. Today I'll read it through one last time, tweak a few things here and there, rewrite the synopsis, and send it off to my agent. Yes, I'm well aware that all the news in publishing (and the auto industry and Wall Street, and . . . . ) is bleak. I believe a week ago we had "Black Wednesday." To some, I suppose, it would seem silly at best and utterly pointless/stupid/bang-your-head-against-the-wall frustrating to be sending off a MS in the hopes it'll be published. But, read this journal entry written by my dear, wise author friend Bev Marshall. She gets to the heart of why we write.
In working on this last revision/rewrite I discovered that I was writing fearlessly. Okay, the market might have cratered, but that didn't mean I should give up on my characters. I'm not writing for some vague "market" anyway. I'm writing to tell a story, an important story. I'm writing because it's who I am and what I do. And so my words soared out onto the computer screen. Nobody's buying? Okay, then, even more reason to write from the heart.
And as I went about the rest of my week, I thought how freeing it was to write without fear. And it extended beyond just writing. So, the economy is terrifying? That gave me the freedom to scale back on my holiday buying, but it also meant that I wanted to make what I give count all the more. Distill it down, so to speak. Rather than 6 or 7 wrapped presents under the tree, what are three things that will tell my son I really know him?
And what can I do for the booksellers who've helped me so much? I can get off my couch and go buy my books from them rather than adding to "my cart" with a click of the mouse. And lots of those great indies have web presences, too.
Here are two of my local stores who will get my business:
The fabulous Main Street Books in St. Charles, owned by the wonderful Vicki Erwin
And the classic Left Bank Books in the Central West End (and now also in downtown St. Louis. Yes, they just oepend a new store this fall. You gotta love that!)
Two other indie stores that have treated me (and gobs of other authors well!) are Schwartz's in Milwaukee and The Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
Feel free to share your favorite indie store when you leave a comment. And this holiday season, don't let the bad news hold you back.
Fearless. That's my new motto.