When my literary agent was first shopping around my anthology about parenting toddlers, I got down about the rejections.
“Keep your pecker up,” my agent wrote in an email to me.
We kept shopping the manuscript and we finally sold it to Seal Press.
The economy is so down right now and all of my writer friends and I are feeling it.
Magazines we work for are going out of business. Others are trying to monetize the eyeballs they have on the web but aren’t sure how. Suddenly, they’re asking writers to help them by blogging for free. Everyone is feeling that this time in the early 21st century is a time of great transition.
What do we do about it?
How do we go about keeping the pecker up in this down economy?
It’s not easy but if you choose to be a professional writer, it’s never really easy.
Even those of us writing bestsellers have to fight over titles and cover illustrations, to say nothing of losing favorite editors or dealing with others in the industry who score high on the PITA scale. If you aren’t familiar with the term, PITA stands for Pain In The Ass, a factor that enters into every writerly equation.
But easy isn’t necessarily good and hard isn’t necessarily bad. We have to keep generating quality ideas, finding fascinating stories, pitching until we hear yes instead of no, and writing high quality, well-researched articles that serve our audience’s (and our editor’s) needs.
It seems counterintuitive but another good strategy when your business is flagging is to put money into it. Sign up for that media training workshop. Hire a coach or an editor. Take a class. Go to a writing conference. As much as we don’t think we can afford it, investing in your writing business will yield positive results.
I’ll put this in a different way: Now is the time, more than ever, for us writers to keep our peckers up.
Published: June 11, 2009
Last update: January 23, 2020