This week at the SFF Seven we’re talking about preconditions – what must be true before you go to write.
I changed it from “sit to write” because I don’t sit – I work at a walking desk. So, that’s one thing for me, is that I’m happiest standing or walking to write. I’ve gotten so sitting to write doesn’t work very well. In fact, I’m super happy to have hit on a solution of a portable tripod and desktop to make a standing desk for a retreat I’m going on after Thanksgiving. I can stand to write! Perfect solution.
It used to be that I had fairly elaborate rituals for getting into writing. I had LOTS of preconditions. I had to be sitting at a certain desk (not my work-from-home desk) at a specific time of day (morning) listening to a particular soundtrack (The Mission). I even had a favorite blue jersey dress I had to be wearing. When my husband, with considerable exasperation, pointed out that the dress had more holes than fabric, he countered my plaintive argument that I needed it, by saying “the writing comes from you, not the dress.”
That’s really stuck with me. I remind myself of that truth often.
(And I put the dress in the rag pile.)
All of those rituals helped me in the beginning, when I really needed help establishing a writing habit. But now I know they were just things to help me along. Because the writing comes from me.
The only precondition I have? Myself, present and accounted for.
Quitting what doesn’t work for you and getting away from survivorship bias and reverse engineering success. Instead finding out what works for YOU & owning your process. Also putting audiobooks on YouTube.
Marketing vs. promo, what traditional publishing brings to the table (and some examples of big fails), why all authors-regardless of publishing path-should learn promo, AND crunch their sales figures. This means learning to read royalty statements!
Some straight talk about group anthologies: what works, what doesn’t, why doing it for that USAT Bestseller badge isn’t worth it, and something I didn’t know before. Also, the perils of survivorship bias and how to transcend it.
Some exciting news on an upcoming anthology project, musing on why people always want us to pick a favorite among equally wonderful things, champagne problems, and the value of hanging with successful people in your field.