FYI, you're a bit different than the rest when you're a writer.
The other day I ran across a post from marketing guru Seth Godin that really spoke to me. He said:
"Remarkable work is usually accomplished by people who have non-typical priorities."
He was speaking in a broad-based sense, but of course I thought of you all, the people who choose to write books. Anyone in today's modern world could have a million priorities that would be considered typical; getting your taxes done, buying groceries, or focusing on work that pays the bills all come to mind.
But someone who chooses to write a book is making a deliberate choice to make writing a priority. Writing a book isn't an immediate obligation like taxes, it doesn't feed you like groceries, and it doesn't provide like day-to-day paid work (at least, not at the beginning). You choose to do it because you're someone with non-typical priorities, who values things beyond what immediately feeds you. You're looking ahead, at what you can contribute to the world, at the legacy you'll leave for years to come.
And that, I think, is something worth celebrating. Here's to creating remarkable work!
Writers, Mercury is in retrograde and it's time to freak out.
Last week, I was in the middle of a meeting with my staff when I got a call informing me that the flight I booked for my upcoming Caribbean vacation had not been ticketed, which meant that I wasn't on the flight at all.
Let's break that down for a moment; the flight that I had booked as part of a package deal with the resort failed to inform JetBlue that we had in fact paid for the tickets. So JetBlue released my tickets, thereby releasing my seats, therefore taking away my ability to go on said vacation.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mercury in retrograde.
I don't necessarily believe in astrology, but one thing I've found to be true is that Mercury in retrograde is chaotic. Whether it's actually a planetary shift that causes mayhem on Earth a few times a year, or everyone's belief that it does (aka confirmation bias), it's times like now that make me question everything. Because there's nothing like a good meltdown to throw every decision you've ever made into the fire, am I right?
In an effort to make some sense out of what ended up becoming one breakdown after another in technology, travel, or communication, I did some research on what Mercury in retrograde really meant, and if I was in fact dumb for planning a vacation smack dab in the middle of it. That last bit is still up for debate, but I did learn something worthwhile in the process.
Hello, hello! We're a month into 2019 and things are buzzing here at LTSE, which is SO exciting -- it's only February and I'm already expecting this year to be the biggest and best yet. I didn't realize exactly how far this company has come since we first started up until I did a little New Year business review and pulled some stats.
I can't tell you how long I've waited to say those words. The end of 2018 was a bit of a stressful struggle, between closing up shop for the holidays and then fighting to actually enjoy those holidays. I hate to admit it, but I was so burnt out by the end of the year that I wasn't even reading.
After that time off, though, I'm happy to report feeling refreshed and ready to dig deep into some fantastic stories this year. And I've done just that with an editor's perspective of a book-to-film adaptation you may have read or seen. There's a lot to be learned about story here, for writers and readers alike.
Letters from the Editor: On the holy combo of Fireball and apple cider, 2018's best book covers, and more
Hello, all! It's crazy to think about how close we are to the new year. This month has been full of excitement at LTS Editorial and we're looking forward to a nice lull over the next few weeks.
Much of the December frenzy was due to this promotion that we ran; if you or someone you know feels like there's a book in you and you're ready to bring it to fruition, a BookFlow Session would be just the thing to make it happen. Though the discount has ended, there are still some 2019 spots available! Let's bring your book to life in 2019.
I know we're all in holiday mode at this point so I'll leave you to enjoy your publishing news, Christmas cookies, and eggnog -- or Fireball-spiked apple cider (a magical combination, for the uninitiated). This will be the last newsletter for a while, and I look forward to writing to you all in January!
Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays and happy reading!
Happy, happy holidays! Who's ready to consume an unhealthy amount of eggnog over the course of the next four weeks?
As wonderful as this time of year is, there's a special kind of stress that comes along with trying to pick out the perfect gift for someone you care about. We don't need to be ashamed to admit that covering all the bases of a good gift (i.e. genuinely thoughtful, practically useful, and contextually appropriate) isn't easy.
Buying the right gift for a writer poses an extra challenge, especially if you know that writer's craft is important to them; the temptation to cop out and just get them yet another Moleskine can be overwhelming. So, as a festive favor to you all, I've put together a list of six gifts you can give to the writer in your life that'll show some love and recognition for their creative side. In store we've got DIY writer's retreats, gorgeous pens, and a very special opportunity with yours truly...the gift of clarity that every writer craves.
Boy, this decorative gourd season sure has flown by, hasn't it?
I know many of us are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow -- loosening your belt just the right amount takes time, of course -- so we'll keep this one short. Here's the rundown:
Happy Thanksgiving and happy reading!
Book lovers, brace yourselves; fiction sales are on a steep, steady decline, and it’s not looking good for the future.
Between 2013 and 2017, we’ve seen a 16% drop in adult fiction revenue, with numbers still on the downward slope at this point in 2018. 16% over four years is a troubling figure, and I can’t help but wonder what’s going on to drive such a severe deterioration in sales.
There are the usual suspects, of course — a greater variety of entertainment options have become available in recent years, publishers are taking fewer risks with new books and authors, people are reading more nonfiction…it all adds up. But the more I think about these plausible causes, the more I believe there’s something about fiction — specifically, the role that fiction plays and the purpose it serves — that we have begun to perceive differently.
Hello again! We're slowly but surely creeping toward Halloween...what are you scared of?
Nine times out of ten, when I ask new clients what emotional and/or creative setbacks they anticipate as we work through their project, I hear some variation of: "I'm afraid my first draft won't be good enough. I want to get it right the first time." I like to call this attitude Generalized First Draft Anxiety (GFDA, for short), and can say with confidence that it's a very common, completely ridiculous fear to have.
Here's why: first drafts are always, without exception, imperfect. There is no such thing as getting it right when the only real goal at that point in the process is getting it out of your head and onto the page. Perfection comes later (in most cases, way later), and worrying too much about perfection too soon sucks the life and love out of the experience of writing faster than you realize. By expecting to nail it on the first go-around, you're putting an insane amount of pressure on yourself to do something that just isn't going to happen. It's senseless.
For all the writers of the world that suffer from GFDA, I'm here to say that you canafford to ease up a little; while it's absolutely natural to be anxious about your project, you don't have to let that anxiety drive you and poison your creative process. If you're having trouble taking that step back, I recommend adopting this mantra:
"By definition, a first draft cannot be a failure. This is my secret project, and no one needs to see it until I feel it's ready to be seen."
Print it out, write it down, paste it somewhere you'll see it all the time. Know that a first draft isn't for anyone other than the people you actively want to share it with, and you've got no obligations at this point other than to commit your story to the page. It's not so scary when you think of it like that, is it?
Hello! I've just made it back to the city after a brief but much needed visit home in North Carolina. It turned out that space was what I needed most...
As you might know, I've been in a weird headspace about reading lately. It's been really challenging for me to appreciate stories, even though doing just that is the bedrock of my whole life. I mean, this is what I do, this is what I'm here for, and yet picking up a new book has been borderline impossible the past few months.
I've had my suspicions about where this "reader's block" is coming from for quite a while, but I came across a Facebook post recently that solidified my hunch: at the present moment, the political climate of this country is, frankly, insane and exhausting, and being party to the madness is taking a toll on my ability to invest myself in meaningful work. Hearing about all the ways in which things are falling apart has been so mentally taxing, I feel like I've maxed out my emotional credit card for the foreseeable future. It's all taking a toll on my passion for books.
However, seeing that Facebook post and the number of people who felt the same was so validating; I was getting to a point where I felt bad -- guilty, even -- about my disengagement from the literary world, but knowing that others are experiencing the same thing has been comforting and has motivated me to confront the issue a bit more directly than I have been. If you're feeling this way as well, here are some potential ways to bust out of the slump we're in together: