Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You're the Star of Your Publishing Movie

Quick note! I guest posted over at Adventures in YA Publishing about Creative Stage vs. Analytical Stage. Come check it out and say Hi!

Now on with the regular post...

Imagine this: You're watching a movie. You yawn because everything is going the main character's way. She never experiences conflict. She doesn't encounter a villain or a personal obstacle. She never makes mistakes, and the ending is predictably happy.


Now, imagine this: You're watching a fabulous movie, gasping at the twists, biting your nails when the main character is in a pickle, laughing at the goofy choices she makes, and clapping as the final credits roll.

Better, right? Except when that movie is about our own publishing journey. We'd like to do without the twists, pickles, and goofy choices, thank you very much.

But what if you knew the ending to your publishing movie? What if you knew that the main character--YOU--would victoriously conquer the story goals? Would you have less anxiety? Would you worry less? Would you calmly move from one scene to the next, knowing it would be okay?

I'm here to tell you it'll be okay. How do I know? Because your story isn't over yet. When you encounter frustration in your own publishing movie, try this:

Embrace the Ups and Downs

Each rejection may seem like an obstacle, but it's really a stepping stone. Each request for a partial or full, or each yes from an editor or agent, is a stepping stone as well. Embrace them. They're all part of the journey.

Do What Your Character Would Do

Do you want your main character to snivel? Hide? Back down against the slightest push back? No! you want her to figure out a solution. You want her to fight back. You want her to conquer fears. You want her to learn from her mistakes and then get out there and make fresh mistakes.

Be a comeback kid

In movies, and in books, there's usually an "all is lost" moment. Perhaps you've had one or more of those moments in your own publishing journey. But remember this: usually that "all is lost" moment is right before the character triumphs. Get back up again. Come back strong. All is NOT lost. Your story is not yet over.

Movies with zero conflict are boring. Your publishing movie is not boring at all. When you reach the conclusion, you'll be satisfied because it didn't come easily. You fought against obstacles and internal villains, and wrote your own happy ending.

Have you ever considered your publishing journey as your own personal movie, with you as the main character? Are you the kick-bootie lead? Are you glad your movie is full of twists and turns, or do you wish your path was a little straighter?


  1. I think my publishing movie journey would still be boring.
    Don't forget the Save the Cat moment!
    You're right, if you know the outcome, it will be less stressful. It's like knowing God wins, so why stress over what the devil throws at you.

  2. Yes...which confuses me...because many of my chars are teen girls. Go figger

  3. "Embrace the Ups and Downs." I love that! It wouldn't be a journey though ups and downs. :)

  4. You're right about the embracing part. Hold it all close and treasure what you've learned along the way. Always interesting and whether the news is positive or negative, it charges up the heart.

  5. p.s. Mean to tell you I love your new look!

  6. I don't care if my publishing journey is as exciting as a book, but I love the comback kid idea.

  7. Never thought about it being a movie but it might be one of those sport broadcasts of an ultra marathon.

  8. Great post! But the ups are so much better than the downs.

  9. Thanks for the new way to look at this! Love it, and super great points.

  10. This is one of the most amazing posts I've read in a long time. What a great way to twist the usual advice of "Don't give up." Thank you.


  11. I just LOVE the way you look at things. And it goes without saying that any post with the words pickle and snivel in it is a winner.