Working in a library has given me a whole new perspective on books and writing. Every day I’m surrounded by books. There are shelves of them staring at me. They stack up in the book drop. They come to my check out counter. They end up on my desk for mending. The new ones wait for me to move them from “in process” to their new home on a shelf.
Sometimes, my head just spins. Author after author. Some so prolific they need a shelf all to themselves. Others are one hit wonders. I look at the titles and think that each one is the result of so much research, experience and creativity. So many titles!
When I’m shelving the fiction books, I’m always amazed at the stories. With such a vast array of authors and stories, it seeems that there would be no more stories to be told.
As I prepare new books to come into the world, I smile a little bit. I research the bib information and see the author’s name and picture and I think, “Good on you, mate.” For the non-fiction books I’m astounded every day at the subject ideas and the catchy titles. And yes, I do a lot of, “Man, I wish I’d have thought of that.”
So here’s my point. This blog is about writing. I write about getting published. I write about writing and the importance of passion and inspiration. The common backdrop – even if unspoken – is the idea and thought of the Holy Grail: Getting a book published. For most aaspiring writers, the thought just makes us giddy. We’ve put this worthy goal on a pedestal and each day we light incense, face Mecca and do a little hula dance, hoping an agent/editor/publisher will take heed.
Here’s my advice: Calm down. It’s only a book.
Oh, I know that is so very flippant. Blood, sweat, tears poured into the darned thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But I think that we make such a big deal out of it that we can short circuit its fruition. We get so jacked up about every detail, every nuance, that we can actually stifle the ability to make our dream come true. We take short cuts, or maybe we spend so much time reading about how to get published that we never take the time to just think of it as a job that needs to get done.
When I see so many books coming through the doors of my library, I know there is room for mine. I know that publishers are printing books. I know that by doing my job as a writer it will come.
I’m reminded of a line from Star Wars where Han directs Chewbacca to fly past a Star Destroyer while keeping his distance. “But don’t look like you’re keeping your distance. I don’t know. Fly casual.”
So how about you? Are you willing to fly casual?
A side note. I found out today that a very good friend of mine had her blogging site nominated as a Top 10 Writing blog. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen is the owner of Quips and Tips for Successful Writers and it i one of my fav writing sites. Would you please consider going to http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/2009/08/13/nominate-your-favorite-writing-blog-4th-annual-top-10-blogs-for-writers-contest/ and giving her a vote? Thank you!