Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

NancyFreund

Writer, Reader, Reviewer

Blog

Blog

On Thick and Thin Skin -- inevitable injuries and the beautiful business of books

Posted by nancyfreund11 on May 10, 2014 at 1:10 AM

Having just found a feature in Twitter that allows me to embed a tweet into a website, check this out:

 

 

If I've lost you to the tweet, so be it.  A worthwhile departure.  It's Robin Black's excellent list of 21 things she wishes she knew about writing before diving into the career of it.  I want to pull a quote from nearly every item. But let's cut straight to  #21: 

"Make your skin as thick as you are able to, for your career. Keep it as thin as you can tolerate, for your art." -- Robin Black

Let me add, it's both.  It's your career AND it's your art.  It's your story, and it's your PR.  It's your characters and it's your readers.  It's your plot and structure and metaphor and dialogue, and it's your cover blurbs and writer friends and publicists and the overwhelming decisions of whether or not to go offset in Michigan or print-on-demand, matte laminate or UV-coated or spot-UV or drop caps to start chapters, and whether to sell non-returnable in Europe and why you can't seem to get the databases changed when you want that bookstore in Bern to be able to buy with standard trade discounts and returnability.  And it's days when Amazon has upped your Kindle price with no notice, no reason and no response to requests for information... which might just happen to be the same day you'll get the most astonishing review by a bookblogger who seems to know your writer's soul and who gets exactly what you were trying to do with the novel throughout the ten years you were holed away writing it... remembering all the while that NO ONE asked you to do this.  No one wants you to do this.  No one is paying you to do this wriitng, and God knows there is laundry needing doing, children needing feeding, and so many other things we writers push to the side to honor our need to write.


It's the business of books, and it's the books themselves.  It's both.  Whether you're traditionally published, or legacy published, or big-house published or New York published (all the same thing, really), or university or small press published (similar but by no means the same), or "indie" (a publisher who can sneak into any book business category it chooses, really), or you are no-longer-stigmatized "self-published," you're going to need that skin -- both thick and thin. You're going to need to write what needs to be written, and rewrite it and rewrite it and rewrite it, till it sits with your readers the way you intended it to sit.  And when you're ready to release it to the world, do so lovingly and with trust.  You're going to be wounded, and your skin never will be thick enough when you need it to be, but you knew that going in.  You read Robin Black's list of 21 things.  You're going to be jealous!  You're going to be genuine! You're going to forget someone in your acknowledgements and be beyond horrified, and you're going to need to cut yourself some slack.


Bottom line: if you need to write, write.  And if you are game for readership, get in the game. There will be injuries -- let me rephrase that -- YOU will be injured.  Damaged. Wounded.  Hurt by good friends and anonymous readers and the person at the Saroyan Prize who doesn't realize that they really shouldn't start an email with "We are very pleased to tell you..." and then make you click something else and change computers in the middle of the night to finally follow the path down the writer's rabbit hole to the fact that their excellent shortlist does NOT include you.  Injuries are inevitable, playing dangerous games.  And yeah, you mostly sit at a desk,  you're Mr. Cautious, the Original Over-thinker, Madame Observant...but you've also always been a little bit fearless.  Am I right?  Not everyone knows it, but FEARLESS.  Fact.  So get your thick-and-thin skin on, and go for it. SOMEONE'S going to win the Saroyan Prize after all. It might just be you.  

Categories: writing & publishing, education & literacy

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

942 Comments

Reply aquannobe
1:36 PM on March 14, 2021 
http://hcialischeapc.com/ - cheap cialis
Reply HereJeala
5:53 AM on March 17, 2021 
https://hcialischeapc.com/ - cialis without a doctor's prescription
Reply Shootly
1:35 PM on August 27, 2021 
Reply eagefboob
2:55 PM on August 27, 2021 
Stromectol
Reply ivermectine mylan
9:54 PM on August 27, 2021 
venta kamagra el mundo
Reply Shootly
4:08 AM on August 28, 2021 
Reply extenuese
11:31 AM on August 28, 2021 
ivermectin for humans walmart
Reply nerblueno
6:32 AM on August 30, 2021 
buy cialis
Reply offinyBib
1:12 PM on August 30, 2021 
Propecia
Reply Nerwheela
10:28 PM on August 30, 2021 
https://buypropeciaon.com/ - best price propecia in uk
Reply Varallork
4:29 AM on August 31, 2021 
https://buypropeciaon.com/ - propecia cost
Reply Immidly
4:30 AM on August 31, 2021 
https://buytadalafshop.com/ - cialis buy online
Reply Stromectol
3:57 PM on August 31, 2021 
Xenical Alli
Reply Immidly
1:24 AM on September 1, 2021 
Reply intuivy
5:28 PM on September 4, 2021 
buy cialis online with a prescription
Reply cialis on line
5:40 AM on September 5, 2021 
Allegra
Reply Afforma
9:03 PM on September 5, 2021 
should i take propecia
Reply Propecia
9:27 PM on September 5, 2021 
Tamoxifen Buy Online
Reply Viagra
9:59 PM on September 5, 2021 
Como Usar Propecia
Reply plulads
1:23 AM on September 6, 2021