Blogger: Michelle Ule
Location: Beautiful Sonoma County, California
The news has been full of depressing stories lately, from natural disasters to fiscal errors to grim prognoses for the future. And the publishing world is no better.
It can get downright discouraging.
But Scripture gives us an antidote for discouragement, and that is thankfulness. We’re reminded on several different occasions “in everything give thanks.”
With that in mind, I’m going to spend this week talking about the discouragement antidotes I’m focusing on these days and what I’m thankful for in the current writing life.
Today and tomorrow I’m thankful for opportunity.
Actor Charlton Heston, in his biography An Actor’s Life, noted an actor needs someone to watch him perform. Writers and artists can put together their manuscripts and paint their canvases, he pointed out, whether someone witnesses the activity or not. Actors play to an audience, but if you don’t have one, you’re not acting.
So, while I may not be publishing books, I still have plenty of opportunities to put my writing skills and passion to work. I don’t think writers have ever had more opportunities to see their work in some form of print, even if it’s just cyber-ink.
Blogging and social networks, not to mention tweeting, provide ample spots to post your thoughts for the world to see and resonate with. You don’t even have to write your own blog–you can comment on someone else’s. I’ve been commenting on World Magazine’s blog for nearly eight years. Of course blogging doesn’t pay anything, and that’s part of the discouragement, but you can see your name in official Times Roman 12.
E-book opportunities and Amazon’s continuing foray into different forms of publishing mean the chance to have some form of book exists even if you don’t have a traditional publishing house contract. People can actually make money off some of these e-book sales; though again, for most writers not enough to feed the children.
Print-on-demand means you can get a book into a reader’s hand without having to fill your garage with books you’ve self-published. That’s an enormous plus if you have a marketing platform.
So, while I may not be able to see my name on the spine of very many books, I can get my thoughts out into the marketplace of ideas. I’m thankful for that opportunity.
How do you deal with discouragement in this current publishing climate?
What can you be thankful for in your own writing life?