Carolyn passed away well before her time, but she left a rich legacy of advice for writers in her book and on her blogs, including Psychology Today and this one.
This is the third part of an interview she did for me back when her book, The Writer's Guide to Psychology, was about to come out.
What I’ve Learned: Advice for Writers Who Aspire to Publish
4. Get started on another book.
If your first idea doesn’t sell, move on to another one. The Writer’s Guide to Psychology wasn’t the first book idea I had – it was just the first one strong enough to grow into a true book. I’m extremely methodical about preparing a proposal – I spend months researching and writing, and I want to know exactly what’s going into each and every chapter – so I’m pretty committed to finding the book a home once I reach that stage. Other writers find it fairly easy to write up their ideas and send them out without doing that kind of preliminary work. When you’re working so hard on one book – writing it, editing it, promoting it – it feels like your entire world. The truth is, though, that if you want to be more than a one-hit wonder, you will eventually need to write another book. Try to get that next proposal ready before everyone forgets who you are!
Carolyn was so right. At this point in my career, the thought of only working on one thing at a time is laughable. I have two publishers and four books under contract. Three books will release int 2014 and probably four in 2015.
The good thing about being this busy is I don't really have time to fret over one single book. At one point this year, I was drafting a proposal, writing two novels (different genres) and editing another, while yet another had just been published and I was dealing with interviews and pimping the new baby to readers and reviewers.
*hands in the air while screaming on the way down the roller coaster drop*
I've been lucky in that I've always had another project in the works while I was querying, on submission, or waiting for publication. Otherwise, I'd probably be friendless and my family would hate me, too. It's hard not to fret and get paralyzed by the odds or the changing world of publishing. I've found I work best under pressure with lots of balls in the air. No time to brood.
Carolyn was an amazing time manager. She blogged all over the place, taught college classes, was a fabulous photographer, and still, she found time for friends and reached out to aspiring writers who sought guidance. She was a fabulous resource with regard to psychological issues addressed in books and for professional advice. Sadly, her website no longer exists, but you can check out some of her articles the links found at the bottom of Part 1 in this series.
Mary Lindsey is one of the founding members of the QT Blog.
She writes young adult novels for Penguin USA and is the author of Shattered Souls, Fragile Spirits, and Ashes on the Waves. She also writes adult romance for Entangled Publishing as Marissa Clarke. Love Me To Death is scheduled for publication October, 2014.