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Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear Lazy Writer

Dear Lazy Writer,

If you think working with beta readers to perfect your books is too much work; if you think submitting to agents is too much work; if you think promoting your book and approaching reviewers is too much work then DON’T PUBLISH. That may sound harsh (especially coming from me) but it’s the best, most honest advice anyone could give you.

To be a successful writer (the definition of successful depends on your personal view), you will HAVE to put in a lot of work. More work than non-writers realize. More so if you want to publish. It’s not just about writing a manuscript. It’s editing it several times before getting help by two or more beta readers. It’s pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to land an agent and nursing your rejection wounds. It’s putting in the hours to help your book shine and then letting it go. It’s finding every little way to market your book to reach readers and get reviews. It’s trying and failing but picking yourself up each and every time and trying again. (And yes, I did just start 5 sentences with “It’s.”)

If you’re not ready for all of that, if it sounds like too much work, then don’t publish. Not everyone who writes a book had to publish it, and not every book has to be published. Many people could be happy having just written a book. Could you?

But if you do want to publish, be ready to put in the effort at every single stage. You can’t just sit on your hands once the book is out there. Without your help to push it along, it’ll float in the nether, undiscovered. Don’t you want your book to soar? To find its way into the hands of readers and collect reviews, not dust? Then hard work you must do!

Not everyone will have the sort of success JK Rowling and Stephen King have, but we will have out own levels of success. Except you won’t ever reach yours if you don’t try and put in the work.

So stop being a couch potato and do your book some justice!

Request reviews.

Do a blog tour. Join social media.

Do all you can without burning yourself out.

Get read. Set. GO!

QUESTION: Are you a lazy person? What makes you lazy?

Author of Hurricane Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Blogger. Reader. Auntie. Vegetarian. Cat Lover.


Jeffrey Scott said...

Yes, I am a lazy person. I have a series I've written years ago and have never done anything with it. Partially because I never invested the time to find out, partially because I think I'm not good enough, and partially because I let life get in the way. But this post is exactly what I need. I need a swift kick once in a while. Because I want to get my book(s) published.

I appreciate the candour. It's well received.

PS - Stopping over from Write with Fey

JEN Garrett said...

I'm not a lazy writer, but sometimes I act like one. I need blanket letters like this blog post to help me realize I won't be satisfied just writing for myself. If there's a chance my work is worth being read by others, then I have to submit and find out.

Liz A. said...

Oh, I'm lazy all right. Of course, that also means I'm going to look for the easy way to do those things that I need to do. Now, if only I could figure out what that is for book marketing...

Chrys Fey said...

@Jeffrey, I think you should stick around for my Wednesday post...Dear Scared Writer. It's for writers who may not be all-together lazy but scared about certain things when it comes to publishing. I think you may fall under that category. You're welcome for the candor. And the swift kick. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

@Jen, Yes! Please do submit. That really is the only way to find out. :)

Chrys Fey said...

@Liz, book marketing is one where it's not good to be lazy or to take the easy way.

Anonymous said...

I can be a lazy person, but when if I want to do something, I know work will be involved and will do it.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I tend to do too much and burn out, which is then followed by periods of inactivity. Not sure what that makes me, but I definitely beat myself up about it!

Misha Gerrick said...

I don't think one HAS to get agents anymore these days. In fact, I'm rather disaffected with the whole trade publishing industry at the moment. But I think I put ten times as much work into my writing and editing now compared to when I was querying.

diedre Knight said...

A terrific lecture, lady Chrys;-) Who doesn't need a reminder or a nudge once in awhile? It's not so much laziness with me, but I desperately need to work on my focus. I hope you'll have a post on that one day as well:-)

Chrys Fey said...

@Patricia, that's good!

@JH, I do the same thing. Even when I know I'll burn myself out. I can't seem to stop or slow down.

@Misha, you're right no one has to get an agent. But those who want to be published traditionally in one of those big publishing houses have better luck with it if they have an agent. I don't have an agent and I'm published traditionally with a small press. But I am looking for an agent for a project that I want to sell to a bigger company.

@Diedre, our focus can sure stray. I'll see if I can come up with something. ;)

Yolanda Renée said...

I can honestly say I've never been a lazy person. My biggest complaint is that I don't have enough time in the day, but that being said. Some of the things your have to do to make your book the success you want it to be costs money, and when your work on a zero budget, then get creative! It can still be done, it's much harder, but like I've said before, it's all about learning!
Hi, Chrys. I think I'm caught up now! Great posts!

Chrys Fey said...

@yolanda, I did do a post about not having enough time.


I never have money to promote. So everything I've done has been free and required creativity. ;)