Down A Rabbit Hole

There are good rabbit holes – the ones that take you to new places, experiences and people that you wouldn’t have encountered if you hadn’t taken that left turn at Albuquerque:

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And there are bad rabbit holes – the ones where you spiral down an ever worsening pile up of confusing, discouraging and worst of all to the writer – distracting clickbait.

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It’s hard to tell the difference.

Lately, one of the many rabbit holes that have been vying for my attention has been the D-R-A-M-A in the YA community (I know, it’s always there, but it’s been getting worse) over a book called AMERICAN HEART by Laura Moriarty.

You can read about it here and here if you haven’t already been watching it unfold in the last few days. But be warned, I’m sending you down rabbit holes and not necessarily the good kind.

I’m not here to give my opinon on this latest drama (at least not in this post!) but I do want to talk about the fine line between being informed about the industry and being distracted by it.

As an author, knowing the publishing industry is part of your job. As is reading, as is educating yourself about marketing, contracts, publicity and myriad other parts of the publishing world. It’s all on you – no matter how wonderful your agent, editor, crit partners and readers are. You have to know what the state of the industry is, what deals are being made and what kids are reading, what agents are asking for. It’s A. Lot.

But that’s all the extra stuff. The necessary but very tangential parts to the one vital thing you must, MUST do.

You need to write.

You need to write.

You need to write.

If you aren’t writing, it won’t matter how well-versed you are on the latest drama. If you aren’t writing, you’re not contributing to the work that the drama is all about. It may seem (and boy does it feel) satisfying to be up on all the latest gossip, but it may be doing you–and your writing– NO DAMN GOOD.

So think about it. When the next drama-rama comes around (and it will!) read up on it. Think about what it may or may not mean for you, for readers and writers. And then treat it like it’s an episode of your guiltiest reality TV pleasure. Because you have work to do. And ultimately, only the work matters.

 

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