Friday, November 13, 2009

It's All A Matter Of Choices YOU Make

This week has been one of those when the issue of choices, both good and bad have played a huge role in people surrounding me. I certainly am not going to go into all the details, but needless to say, in the words of this guy, "He chose poorly." And, in some of the cases, "You chose wisely."
In many of my conversations with writers, I tell them that after you receive comments back from an editor, agent, contest or critique, you don't have to do anything with those thoughts. In the end, it is still your manuscript. It is still, "your choice." Take it or leave it.
With that said, I do have to state that even if you walk away after wanting to ignore those comments, knowing it was your choice, you have to understand that there might be consequences for making that decision. You may have lost that deal the agent spoke of. Your editor may print your book but that will be the last because of your refusal to "listen". But, be confident to know that it was still "your choice."
Now, choices extend to the good side as well. Sometimes an editor or agent might suggest heading a completely different way with your manuscript. You hate the idea but "choose" to follow those directions. In the end, you find that A) not only did the story work; but B) you find a new niche you haven't thought about. I have an author right now in the midst of one of those huge shifts. Guess what? Editors (yes that is plural) are VERY interested.
Now, for those of you that don't have that editor or agent yet. You too have choices. You choose to make writing a priority in your life by setting aside time 7 days a week to work on your craft. You choose to not work on your story but hang out with your friends. You choose to attend conferences.
I am always frustrated at people who make excuses for why something doesn't get done. When I talk to people about my travels to Europe I always hear, "I have always wanted to do that." My answer? Make it a priority and do it then. If it is an issue of money - raise it. If it is an issue of time - plan it. In the end, yes, it is that simple. You have the choice.
Oh, and time for a little rant here. This is for the writers that submit stories to me and then write back complaining that they hated my feedback or would have never signed with me anyway. You had the choice to submit to me. It wasn't the reverse.... Just a thought.


  1. The comparison to your travels to Europe is a good one. People often tell me, "Oh, I wish I could go to Paris." Go! Figure out a way to budget in the money, and go! Writing is the same. If you "budget" enough time, you can finish a book.

  2. You're exactly right, Scott. It's like my mom always says. "There's no such thing as not having enough time. Saying you don't have the time is the same as saying it's not THAT important."

    It's simply a matter of what you choose to make priority.