Monday, February 09, 2009

Report from the Trenches: Don't Worry.
Just Write!

Writer Bill Peschel responded thusly to my post asking people how the publishing slowdown is affecting them, How are YOU doing?
In brief, it hasn't affected me. Here's the situation: Decided a few months back to pitch the "Writers 365" book I've been posting at my blog. Prepared a proposal, sent it out to about 40 agents. An agent at a respected agency thought it wasn't for him, but thought it was salable. Two agents called, and I signed a contract with one of them after rewriting the proposal three times with her suggestions.

As of last week, the proposal is in the hands of two editors, both at reasonably large publishing houses. So it's good news, but I guess the real answer comes when:
    a) we hear back from them; and
    b) what, if anything, will they offer.
But so far, it's been good. And as Lauren Baratz-Logsted commented, the only thing you can control is writing the best book possible.

There's a great lesson that I'm trying to learn about control and worry. The philosophy is to not worry. Period. If you're doing the best with what you can control, what is there to worry about? And for those things you can't control, why worry about them? So why worry at all?
I answered Bill that I admire his "don't worry" philosophy. But the only times I've been able to follow it were when I was recovering from concussions. I knew my brain was returning to normal when I started worrying again.

He wrote back:
The "don't worry" philosophy is one that took me a long time to understand, and even now I still fret. But I'm getting better. Last week, I received a poisonous e-mail from someone objecting to an essay I posted. Years ago, it would have left me a puddle on the floor. Now, hardly mild irritation.

Age probably has a lot to do with it. I'm just too tired to deal with other people's nonsense when I have so much nonsense riling me already.

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