Thursday, October 22, 2015

Multicolor Mulch

by Alan

If you could go back five years and change something about your writing life, what would it be?

I generally don’t harbor regrets, and I’m not much of a second-guesser (when it comes to my own decisions, anyway). Looking back, I’d probably make all of the same decisions I made with the information I had at the time. But since this week’s question specifically allows us to use hindsight, I’ll force myself to come up with something (or many things. Maybe I SHOULD become more of a second-guesser!).

colored spiral If I could roll back the odometer five years (to right around the release of my debut novel), I would:

Stick to one genre. Instead of writing mystery, thriller, horror, and YA, I’d pick one (or two) and cultivate more of a fan base/track record before trying to branch out.

Move on more quickly when things aren’t working. Rather than stay “stuck” in a certain situation, I’d make changes more rapidly. Although the waiting game is a big part of publishing, I think there have been many times when I’ve waited too long before acting.

Not get so “hyped up” over book releases. Now, after having been through more than a few, I realize how much of the promotion/marketing is really out of my hands—I can only move the needle so much through my own efforts. (I still put forth plenty of effort, but I now understand that sometimes immediate results aren’t always evident.)

Not order so many bookmarks. (If you’re driving around Northern Virginia and you see a yard where all the trees and bushes are mulched with shredded bits of multi-colored paper, that’s my place!)

Eat more cake.

4 comments:

Meredith Cole said...

At first I thought you spent too much time the last five years on gardening as well... Rewriting history is fun, huh?

RJ Harlick said...

I'm like you, Alan, a rarely look backwards, so answering this question was a bit challenging. But you handled it well. Oh, and I could drape a few trees with all my leftover bookmarks too.

Susan C Shea said...

Bookmark mulch! Actually, I had to re-order the first time around. I could not believe I could get rid of 500, but that was before I went to Bouchercon...

Alan Orloff said...

Meredith - Just trying to "grow" my career.

RJ - Ever onward!!

Susan - I discovered that you can get 1000 for just a little more money than 500. And you can get 2000 for just a little more than 1000. And buying 5000 bookmarks wasn't that much more, either!!