Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Your Career And Unexpected Changes

We are always talking about how the publishing business is always changing. What worked one day stops working the next day. Things happen! And yes, it does mean that sometimes, those things will have a HUGE effect on your writing career. What do you do when you are suddenly faced with those career changing events.

First of all, it is important to always be thinking ahead in your career. You want to be proactive and not wait around for those tragic moments to happen. As an author you should have a clear sense of where you want your career to be in 6 months to even several years from now. What will you do if you find out that your current proposal is not going to work for that editor? Do you have a back up plan? Small little things like this will help you when these changes smack you in the face.

But let's talk about those moments when they do show up. Here are a couple of things to consider:
  1. Don't panic. Yes there will be a moment of wanting to run around the house screaming, or even moments of thinking a strong shot of something will help, but panic is the one thing you don't want. It is in moments such as this that we need rational thought.
  2. Can you adjust what you are doing? Let's say your current book project is now being cut due to changes at the publisher. Are there ways to take that same project and move it to another line? Is this something that can be held on to until something else shows up? Sometimes it might just be a small tweak that will help you out.
  3. Talk to your editors and agents. This is really the time for some conversations. No, you are not here to argue with them, but to spend time working on strategic plans. Work together to shape the next phase of your career.
  4. DO NOT dive into Social Media with your rants. Although there will be a part of you that wants to start placing blame and accusing everyone, this is not the time and place to do that. Remember, you don't get any of those thoughts back. Once those comments are out there, you are stuck with those comments. I would also add that you never know who is listening. Someone who may want to work with you now sees you as someone who is difficult.
  5. Review your career plans. This is the time to really inspect where you are now and where you want to be. It might simply mean that this change is going to head you in the right direction and not send you spiraling off course. Just relax and see what you need to do next.
  6. Visit your resources. When I talk of resources, I am talking about your colleagues. Do you have some colleagues who can steer your through this mess? Can these people get you into a new direction.
What you should see is that the rational and relaxed people will triumph in situations such as this. Those that panic??? Well, let's just say the future might not be so bright.

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