Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get Better, Not Bitter

There will be setbacks.

There will be critics.

There will be raised hopes that are crushed, and expectations that are never fulfilled.

There will be difficult stretches.

There will be high hurdles.

There will be a lot of waiting. A whole lot.

There will be blows to your pride.

There will be attacks on your person.

There will be rejections, and more rejections, and even more rejections.

There will be people who don't think you can do it.

There will be people who don't think you should be doing it.

There will be hundreds of things that will make you consider quitting.

Don't get bitter.

Get better.

Write more. Improve your craft. Learn the business.

Make success your only option.

Take joy in the good things that happen, and grow stronger from the bad things.

No one likes a whiner.

Everyone loves a winner.

Be a winner.

Get better.


Unknown said...

Thank you! Great post, everything we newbies need to hear in one post haha. :)

Noel said...

True, very true but what I've been learning about the book publishing industry would give anyone pause especially the treatment and attitude toward diversity and writer's of color. Joe I'd love for you to talk about that--although I realize that's not an issue you personally may have to face. Still, a lot of your blog readers will.


Marc said...

There will be beauty, if there is righteousness.
There will be harmony, if there is beauty.
There will be order, if there is harmony
There will be peace in the world if there is order.

..Chinese proverb -sorta

May you seek righteousness and beauty in all that you write.

JD Rhoades said...

Very timely for me, Joe. As always, thanks.

Jude Hardin said...


Jeannie said...

I might have to print this out and hang it in my office.
Thanks Joe.

Mike MacLean said...

Waiting is the hardest part. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but it’s also too damn true.

Thanks for this, Joe. Always good to remember I’m not alone out here.

Anonymous said...

Never compare yourself to others. Just be the best writer that you can be. Thanks for the pep talk, coach.

Matt said...

Great thoughts Joe. Long time reader of your books and articles through Writer's Digest. Keep up the good work as a mentor to newer writers, you keep the mystery genre alive and proud.

Wendy said...

This is great!

Ellen said...

Pithy. Perfect.

Thanks, Joe.

PokerBen said...

Awesome words--will also print this.

Karen from Mentor said...

Reading this made me feel JUST LIKE the little engine that could.

Thanks Joe!

Karen :0)

Barbra Annino said...

JUST what I needed today!

ssas said...

Thx for the pep talk. :)

Wendy Roberts said...

Awesome post!! The only way to lose in this crazy business is to give up.

Marcie Steele said...

Another great post Joe. I really like how you tell it like it is. Remember that I told you I'd been working hard for ten years and still trying to get published? Well I finally have another agent, this time from a great agency, and my book is going out to publishers in September. I've never been this far and I'm not there yet but I will never say never.

Unknown said...

wait...I thought the saying was that everybody likes a "weiner". Oscar Meyer to be precise.

...although I don't like them, their not Kosher.

Jay said...

Thank you for this. It's often hard to find inspiration in all the negativity. This is great.

amberargyle said...

My Dad used to say, "If your going to ride, at some point, you're going to get bucked off, kicked, knocked around, and bit."

Same thing applies for writers. You're going to get rejected, doubted, ridiculed, etc.

It comes with the territory.

Jay said...

Thank you, Joe. I think I'll post this up next to my monitor for safe keeping!

Elana Johnson said...

Amen. :)

Barbara Martin said...

Great pep talk.

Ginny Buccelli said...

I have the following (by Samuel Beckett) posted near my computer:
Ever tried
Ever failed
No matter
Try again,
Fail again,
Fail better.

ginny buccelli

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Joe,

This goes on my bulletin board right next to "Write. Revise. Submit. Repeat."

FYI, I did a review of Uncage Me on the Women of Mystery blog today. I talked about your Harry McGlade story and mentioned Cherry Bomb.

Here is the link:


Kathryn Magendie said...

Zactly. . . yes.

Regan Leigh said...

I hit this post from a link on another blog. Love it! I feel like I just got a nice reality check/ pep talk. :) Get better, not bitter sums it up very nicely!

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

On my way to share this post with others...

Thank you!

Rusty James said...

Hello Joe,

Bought your AFRAID book the other day via Amazon...

I'm prolly gonna self-publish after I slog through my second draft, spread it round some friends, and hire an editor.

Would direct your readers to the site for inspiration on DIY.

I have a screenwriters/cinema background, and like indie filmmakers, I'm confident I can find my own audience -- temper the rejections a bit, ya know.

Will continue to read your past posts.



Vertu Copy said...

Thank to sharing good information :)

Nice Post

Stacia Kelly said...

With you on this one this week. JT and I made a game out of the rejection pile. It's making it a 'little' bit easier to deal with.

And, reading a lot of great authors and catching up on some great shows, while still focusing on the next thing.

Cat and I are ready to smack the people at our Borders for not having Cherry Bomb. Boo them.

Heather Faye said...

I'm printing this out and taping on the wall next to where I write. Thanks.

Stacey Cochran said...

Here are my words of wisdom:

They can all suck it.

Stacey Cochran
Bestselling author of The Colorado Sequence

Vérité Parlant said...

Question for you, but first, Thank you for the encouraging post. It was passed onto me by The Writer Mama after she read this post as she has possibly heard me whine before.

The question is "Do you think it's harder for writers today since they are being asked to first prove they can get a following before they prove they can write well and finish a good book?" I've noticed that as we talk building platforms, very few of the success stories point to fiction writers. For fiction writers it seems the book comes first, the platform second. I mean, J.K. Rowling may have a great platform but she built it after Harry Potter became a hit not before.

Worse, I heard today that "the book may in the future be only a souvenir."

O.K. Back to the grindstone. I allow myself some whine time every now and then. :-)

Mark Richardson said...

Peace, my brother!

Doug Cartwright said...

This was a great post. I was actually searching for information on this topic not related to book publishing and found your blog/poem. My wife has insisted I print it out and now it will be on our wall. Great work!