Happy Friday amazing writers! I hope that you are having all the success and crushing all of your 2019 goals!
I know that in my efforts to keep up with my schedule, this week COMPLETELY snuck up on me, but that is another reason I am so thankful for this blog series. We have a set of completely amazing authors here willing to share their expertise!
And while I feel like sometimes I’m rushing around all the time to meet various deadlines and do all the things, it’s important to remember to slow down and really examine what you are doing and why. Today’s blog helps to illustrate this point perfectly. Come join in as author MA Corliss explains the importance of patience and not rushing your process.
The Importance of Patience & Writing for Yourself
M.A. Corliss - The Suicide Kids
November 18th, 2015 was the day that I had finally received my copyright for my debut self-published novel The Suicide Kid’s. As a younger, eager author I was excited to get my work out into the world with the hopes that it would catch the eyes of readers across the globe.
My decision to self-publish came from a rash of rejection letters by literary agents, but, more importantly from my own impatient nature. It was only my second draft, roughly edited by myself, a person who admittedly needs to work on his grammar skills. (I even still google how to spell grammar if that’s any indication.)
Now a days I constantly toy with the idea of taking it down all together. At the time I figured I could add it to my resume when querying in the future, but, now I have become somewhat embarrassed by it to the point where I want to take it down or fix it.
My eagerness, while well placed, now stands to me as nothing but a series of harsh lesson’s about being a self-published author as well as the cruelty that comes along with it. It now stands as a black mark on my record, something that I thought was finished turned out to need far more work. We will always be our own worst critics, but, in this case I think it is blatantly obvious that it leaves more to be desired.
That being said, not only could the writing be pushed a little further, but, also the importance of research about publishing could have been done before hand. Believe it or not, there actually is a lot more to self-publishing than just writing a book. There is this whole world of advertising that needs to be addressed. And boy, was that a powerful lesson. (A $5,000 lesson to be exact.) I know that seems crazy, but, once again my impatient needs outweighed any price. I desperately wanted my book to be read by so many and yet, to date I have given away 300 free copies and only sold about 40 at the rich price of $2.99 a piece before Amazon took their cut. I advertised on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Reddit, Goodreads, and many others. I spent money I didn’t have on a wide market instead of focusing small and trying to build from there. In short, I was reckless and idiotic all because, once again, I was impatient.
I know it’s hard to wait, I know you want more than anything for someone to love your book, but, take it from a person who failed completely, waiting is important. Not only that, but, I would say literary agent’s in general are important. I thought the internet would have my back, but, it is vast beyond its years and no one is going to notice or care if one little book gets lost in the shuffle. If I had an agent or publisher, they would have taken care of all the grueling ground work professionally. I could not stress enough about the willingness to wait and perfect your piece, so that you won’t have to regret it as I do.
With all that being said, however, I have never once regretted writing The Suicide Kids. Sure I wish I had outlined it a little better, added more dialogue to flush out the characters more, and had it properly edited. But, this was a book I wrote for me, this was a book that I credit as saving my life. I feel like a lot of people will ask you to write a book for them, and in some cases you may be happy to oblige, but, never forget that you probably got into this so you could write the stories that you wanted to tell, not someone else’s. There’s a line of people around the block who will tell you what you can and can’t write. In some instances even about who you can and cannot write about. But sometimes it isn’t about catering to the masses, and most of the world’s innovations don’t come from popular notions that have already been flooded with thoughts and opinions. I wrote a NA book during a time when YA was the popular go to for almost all literary agents, not because I wanted to break the mold, but, because I had a story to tell.
I have never been shy about The Suicide Kid’s having a dark origin. To be blunt, the first few paragraphs came about because I myself was struggling with thoughts of suicide and had decided to write a letter in case I went through with it. That ended up sparking a story within my mind, a story that allowed me to put myself into different characters, to twist and form something new, something different to the point that I no longer had those thoughts. As I said before and will continue to say throughout my life, this book saved my life, and was something I wrote for myself. Although it was my eagerness to find a connection with someone who had shared the same thoughts and feelings that added to the impatience I mentioned earlier. But, in time you will find your audience. For all the flaws it has, I still get messages from people who actually do enjoy it or connect to it on some level. For most part that will always be the case. For all the ups and downs, the tough lesson’s it taught me. This one story has not only made me appreciate the publishing process more, but, in general it has made me a better writer. All the valid criticisms will help me make my next book all the better. And to think all it took was a story I wanted to tell, and a little patience for people to find it.
What do you think? Have you ever wished you were more patient in your publishing adventures? Comment and share the hindsight moments you have to add from your experiences below!
About Our Guest
M.A. Corliss is a man of many hobbies, as well as a lover of memes and animals. When he is not procrastinating he can often be found writing a new poem, working on his current WIP, or writing music.