Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking Back

We should always keep moving forward, our eyes on the future. But now and then, taking just a moment to look back provides a new perspective and can guide our path.

With a week packed with virtual tour stops and three large real-world events, the launch of the fifth and final book in my YA series is finally upon me. I started writing this series in 2002, so it's been quite a journey.

Looking back, I wonder what I could've done differently... What could I have changed? What could I have avoided?

Would my books be more successful if I'd made them darker, grittier, and with more angst? I'm sure they would! Controversy sells. Sex, drugs, etc. are very real elements in the lives of young people today. However, it would've deviated from my own morals and standards too far. I needed to be true to my spirit. So while yes, I'd be more successful, it would've rquired compromise, and that I'm glad I didn't do.

Would I have started with a subsidy publisher first before signing with a traditional publisher? Well, I did learn a lot along the way. It gave me time to grow and understand marketing. Okay, that one I'd probably change. (I could've self-published it for a third of what I spent on the subsidy publisher!) The subsidy route is a deep hole from which to dig and I'd rather leave the shovel at home next time...

Do I wish I'd landed a bigger publisher? Eh - yes and no. Yes, the glory and honor of the big six in NY! But you know, even Stephen King left his big NY publisher for a smaller one because he was just a number to them. I like being able to work with my publisher, not being told how it will be! And again, I might've had to compromise what I was writing...

Are there avenues I would now avoid? Yes! I probably won't do very many writer's conferences in the future unless the pay is really good. (Writers don't buy books - it's the weirdest thing!) I will do less bookstores. Evil, evil returns!!! Nobody eles returns books... Public libraries aren't productive for me either. None of my books are historical in nature...

However, I am happy where the journey has led me! I got to complete me series with my best effort ever and I am ready to tackle something new. I'm also ready to focus more on my speaking career.

Looking back, what would you change as an author, writer, blogger, or otherwise? What would you do differently? What would remain unchanged?


* Award time! *

I was given the Prolific Blogger Award by Helen Ginger at Straight From Hel -  thank you!!!

It seems everyone I know has this already (good job, guys!) so passing it along to:

Elizabeth Spann Craig
Nancy J. Parra
Kate at The Neverending Shelf

14 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hindsight is always 20/20!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think there will always be things I’d wish I done differently and sentences I wished I’d worded differently, but overall, I’m pleased with my life and where my writing has taken me so far.

Helen Ginger said...

There's not much I would have done differently. At first, I thought, I would have written more while the kids were growing up, but then I would have had to give up something since that was a very full time, so I probably wouldn't do anything differently.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Thanks for the award, Diane!

I think you've done a great job looking back *and* thinking ahead.

So far I wouldn't have done anything differently, but we'll see if that changes!

Elizabeth

Morgan Mandel said...

Those evil returns. I agree they are rotten and should be abolished!I'm more careful about book signings at stores now also. I much prefer the consignment approach instead.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I've thought about this very much..... it sure raises a few questions..
frokostordning

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on the award. Looking back I wish I had done some research on blogging before starting, but then sometimes experience is the best research.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Most I wouldn't change!

Morgan, you are SO right. Evil, evil returns!!!

B. Miller said...

The only thing I'd consider changing is starting earlier than I have. But I truly believe everything leads us to where we are now and it all happens for a reason... and I wouldn't change a thing!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I'm a mostly "in the moment girl." Or try to be. Yesterday (love that nostalgia) is gone and tomorrow never comes. (-:
Carolyn

Jai Joshi said...

I try never to wonder about what might have been and focus instead on what is and work towards what will be. You are so successful and accomplished already, Diane, that regreting any past decisions becomes irrelevant at this point. I'm glad that you didn't deviate from your beliefs. I'm glad you believed in yourself enough to make those early brave bold moves in publishing even if it did cost you a lot of money.

And I'm glad to hear that the launch of your latest book is so near! Congratulations and good luck. I'll be rooting for you.

Jai

Creative Chronicler said...

A great retrospective look. As for your books, yes you would probably have sold more if you made them darker and with more sex & drugs, etc. But then they wouldn't be the wonderful stories that they are and they wouldn't be you. Beside, the world has more than enough books focused on sex, drugs and mayhem!

Congrats on the award!!

Lynette said...

Guess what? Your an award winner. Yeah, You!
No not the one in the back...but you, right here in front! Go and pick it up at:
http://theysayimnuts.blogspot.com/2010/03/attitude-and-gratitude.html

Nancy J. Parra said...

I think you should never regret what you have done. It is all a learning experience and if you chose differently then the lessons would be different. But there would still be lessons.
Thank you for making my life brighter and for your support. :)