Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Choices



For Americans, today is election day. Rest assured, this is not a political post. Instead, I'd like to focus on the wonderful reality of choice.

My family lives in a small, rural town, and our son is a sophomore in the local high school. There are only about 110 students in his class, and over 400 teens in the entire school. Some parents have chosen to pull their kids from our small school and enroll their kids in large high schools in neighboring cities. We chose to leave our son in his small school close to home. He's doing great there, and he loves it. For us, an easy choice.

As writers, sometimes our choices are not so clear...

Publishing Choices

Do we go the agent/big publisher route? Do we go the small publisher route? Do we leap over the gatekeepers and take the self-publishing route?

I don't know about you, but I'm glad the traditional vs. indie battle has died down a bit. There are plenty of successful authors on both sides, and lots of authors who choose an all-of-the-above approach.

Me, I'm just thankful for the choice.

Artistic Choices

Setting? First person? Third person? Past tense? Present tense? Light and flirty mood? Dark and chilling? Who's the narrator?

A slight shift in any of these questions alters the story completely. I sometimes struggle with these choices because I want to make the right decisions up front.

But again, I'm thankful for the choice.

The Choice to Persevere

I don't know about you, but sometimes rejections or bad news is like a sucker punch that makes me doubt everything. If you've ever wondered why in the heck you continue to do something that brings such joy, but also such heartache, believe me, I know how you feel.

Thankfully, we don't allow those moments to last very long. After a bit of time, we come back. And if we choose to, we use those disappointments to fuel our desire to become better. No one holds a Nerf gun to our heads and forces us to create and polish and lay our hearts bare. Perseverance is a choice.

Whether it's leadership, publishing, artistic choices, or the decision to persevere, it's a beautiful thing to have a choice.

Are you intimidated by the amount of choices available to writers today? Do you regret any of the choices you've made as a writer? What's the best writing related choice you've made so far?

29 comments:

  1. Great post Julie! Agree with you so much on the whole traditional vs self-pub debate thing. Was wearing me slick, and I think you're correct that we're basically seeing both models work--and that's really taken the wind out of the debate.

    Now if we can just do the same with this election stuff. ;-)

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    1. EJ, both models totally work! And it's so cool to have the choice :)

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  2. At least for the option in publishing choices, I'm grateful not overwhelmed.

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  3. I always choose what feels right for me. I'm glad there's so much to choose from in publishing.

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    1. Nancy, you've obviously made great choices!

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  4. Julie, given the choice, I'd go for small--lit agency, publishing house--of course, that could lead to small sales.... But I could live with that. :)

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    1. Linda, you write from your heart, and sales are not number one for you!

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  5. We do have our options! I'm happy with the choices I've made so far.

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    1. Alex, your publisher has been such an excellent fit for you :)

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  6. A big AMEN on your post, Julie!

    I have stuck by my guns and gone for the traditional. I don't regret the choice...I am thankful for the choices.

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    1. Loree, you're well on your way to something great, that's for sure!

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  7. Thanks, Julie. Choices are great. Were it not for so many choices, I might still be only dreaming of writing one day, instead of sitting here as the author of two books now. Thanks for sharing.

    -Jimmy

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  8. the best choice I've made as a writer? Email this lady on the listserve named Julie and meet her for lunch. BEST DECISION EVER.

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  9. Hi Julie & friends :) I've been busy, I haven't visited in some time, but this post is timely. I'm glad we have choices as, after years of perseverance, I've decided to self publish. I'm on the home run now ;). You're on my bucket list of people I'd love to meet. Let's hope it's soon. Much love to you, family & community.

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  10. Choice and possibility - nothing rocks more than those.

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  11. All the time. Every choice we make when it comes to our writing (and life) reflects what we've learned. As we continue to grow and challenge ourselves, the choices don't necessarily become easier, just done with more confidence.

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  12. I think some people are going to be successful no matter which route they choose. Still, it's nice to have options!

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  13. Great post, Julie. Yes, I know all about persevering even when disappointed. But part of my journey is finding peace in waiting. :)

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  14. Having the opportunity to vote is such an important right! Sounds like turnout in the US was high - good to hear.

    I love the choices. I'm hoping to get my stories out into the world in the new year and I have some major decisions to make!!!

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  15. What a great post, Julie. I love all the freedom that we writers have today... and I love that we are so accepting of whichever route authors decide to take. I respect all forms of publishing... because we're all creating...

    I know that I don't regret my writing choices--the path has changed me, and I'm grateful for it. <3

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  16. Amen, sister! The point about perseverance is an especially relevant one in this line of business.

    I think the choice I'm happiest I've made over the years is to get out there and go to writers' conferences, SCBWI chapter meetings, writing classes, etc. Without being part of the community, it's too easy to become discouraged--we need our tribe!

    On top of the fellowship aspect of coming into contact with other writers have been some amazing networking opportunities. Not all of them have led anywhere (though some definitely have!), but I've learned from each individual experience.

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  17. I think the choice to persevere is the hardest choice we writers face. And yet the rewards when you do are so worth it (and I'm not talking about just publication). Great post.

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  18. That's a lovely positive spin on the choices we have as writers! :) Thanks. Sometimes the choices are difficult though, or we're pushed into choices.

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  19. I read somewhere that choices are one reason why writing is so exhausting. As you pointed out, it's one choice after another, whether you're deciding to kill off a secondary character, or which dialogue tag to use (if any) or how best to avoid the passive voice. It's all choices. Which is what makes it so fun and tiring at the same time. But you're right; having choices is a beautiful thing. :-)

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  20. Friends, thank you so much for your feedback about choices. We're writing in an awesome time of opportunity!

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