When Reading Hurts


I’m starting to wonder if ALL the reading I do about how to get published is hurting me.  Seriously, all these stories about how other people got signed, how to query, how to make your submission the best possible, and on and on and on is starting to make my head spin.  I’m starting to wonder why I should even bother.  Not only should I even bother to find an agent, but should I even bother publishing my book.  All the time I spend writing queries, reading about how to write a query, reviewing agents’ websites, submission guidelines, booklists, etc., etc., is time I’m not spending writing.

I believe in moderation.  However, being a slightly obsessive person, once I get into something, I have a hard time not thinking about it 24/7.  I think I need to take a step back from reading hundreds of blog entries (I’m not exaggerating) on how to get an agent, and tweets on what’s selling and who’s selling it.  I’m going to drive myself nuts.  Not to mention, I’m not going to finish this round of editing if I’m spending my spare time reading Chuck Sambuchino’s most recent blog entries instead of working on my book.  After all, that’s what this is supposed to be about.  Writing.  I’m supposed to be WRITING.  Emphasis on WRITING.

Hemingway writing.  I've only read one of his books, but it was life changing.  When I think of seriously writing, I think of Hemingway.  I've visited his home in Key West twice, and the images of his office, above his garage, where his typewriter sits are burned into my mind.

Hemingway writing. When I think of seriously writing, I think of Hemingway.

Most of this blog entry is a pep talk to myself – I’m not gonna lie.  I’m trying to talk myself up to taking a break.  I’m so focused on getting published, I’ve forgotten the most important thing is having something to publish.  It seems elementary, but I guess it’s hard to see the forest through the trees (or something like that).

So – I’m going to self-impose a hiatus on my obsessive reading.  I, Lydia Evans, being of sound mind (for the most part) and sound body (as sound as it can be for a 33 year old), do solemnly swear to take two weeks off from reading about literary publishing.  This hiatus includes tweets (even though they’re short, they don’t fool me.  They link back to articles which I’m helpless to pass on!), book deals on Publisher’s Weekly, and blog posts.

Hopefully this break (it’s not you, it’s me) will help me re-focus on writing, and less on reading about writing.


6 thoughts on “When Reading Hurts

  1. Great post! I too found myself lost in the quagmire of self-publishing ‘how-to’s’, ‘how not to’s’ and ‘don’t even think of publishing if you haven’t done this yet!’ babble. And that was after I had spent something like 6 months submitting my novel to traditional publishers. There is genuinely a lot of good information out there to help newbie authors, but a lot of it is just wasting your time. Once you can tell the difference between the two, write a book about it and make your first million!!! Not if I write it first though 😉

  2. Hi Lydia,,
    In my experience, writing my first novel, not knowing if anyone would be interested in, if it would sell, if it was even any good, was the most blissful period and I know that I will never recapture it. I was cocooned away from any pressure and expectation, just wanted to write. Now as a published author with an agent, I do not experience writing my second novel the same way. Sales, promotion, demands, expectation…Everything changes when you get all the things you are wishing for. My worry for you is that you are stressing so much about all the stuff that comes after that you’re missing the best part. Just close yourself off and write and if you do it well enough, hopefully someone will be interested and take you the rest of the way. If not, there are so many other options now to get your work out there. Put researching query letters and agents on a back burner and let the good times roll!

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