Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let's put this in perspective, people, okay?

It seems like every time I turn around, some new surprise is happening in the little niche of the publishing world with which I am familiar. People are changing publishers, publishers are changing policies, agents quit to become editors or vice versa.

I'm not sure if it's just because I'm getting older, but it seems like the pace of this is happening faster and faster. Or maybe it's because I'm still not sure where I'm going with this career of mine.

There's nothing wrong with where I am. I have a lot of books out, I enjoy writing, I enjoy my day job, and I like the way it all fits together. But I always have this nagging feeling that maybe I should be doing more -- looking for an agent, or looking for a New York contract, or trying to self-publish, or doing a bit more promo.

I wonder if this is just human nature, to constantly wonder: Am I doing enough?

And just when I think this kind of thinking is important, someone gets ill and I discover what the really important things are in life. I think a health crisis for a loved one is a reminder to us: it's really just a job, people. Don't sweat it. There are other things far, far more important in this world.


Sheila Tenold said...

J L, your words are true regarding real life. I remember 2004 when my son deployed to Iraq. For the next seven months I stopped writing fiction. Instead, I wrote almost daily letters, bought goodies, and mailed approximately thirty packages to him and his unit. Crying alone in the shower was extra, private duty. Thank god his unit suffered no injuries or loss of life. Today he lives in New York City.

Jill James said...

Nothing like personal troubles to put your priorities into perspective, is there? My son is in the army and just got to Ft. Hood Texas, now I read there are flash flood warnings there and I wonder how he is doing. It is hard to have your children far from home.

Robin Covington said...

Great post. Reminds me of being at the fair yesterday and watching a man take three mentally disabled adults around in the 98 degree heat. He was patient and kind and I was ashamed that I was getting irritated b/c I had to stand in line with my two, healthy, normal kids.

I realized that I don't really have any problems.

Josie said...

You're right, J.L., health and family come first.
I think it's the uncertainty of the ever-changing publishing world which makes authors' lives so . . . interesting.