Sunday, May 03, 2020

How To Handle the Perfect Storm

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Last week I got an unexpected phone call. The project I was spending hours on every day suddenly was cancelled. The same day a literary agent called me to cancel a book contract with Morgan James. Yes it was the perfect storm. From my reading in publishing, I know this sort of thing is happening on many different fronts and places. 

I went through the different stages of grief—anger, looking for revenge, and finally acceptance and moving on. I went through the various stages pretty quickly. Why? Because I've faced these storms before—not recently—but in other parts of my writing career. I've had other books cancelled. I've been fired from companies and I've had an unjust senseless lawsuit to defend (which cost thousands). In the face of these storms, some days I wish I had selected another profession. Yet at my age and experience, it is too late to change. I've spent many years in publishing working with hundreds of authors on many different books. 

Not every day is easy and there are hard days in the publishing business. One of the best steps I've learned in these situations: to pivot to something else and keep going and keep moving. If you do nothing, then nothing happens. Even if you do a little bit on a project, keep that project moving.

I'm grateful for the diversity in my writing life. I'm still working with authors on their Morgan James books—something I've been doing for eight years. I'm still writing books for other people and still working on my online business. I recently wrote this article about the importance of diversity. Every writer needs multiple streams of income so when you face the perfect storm (as I did last week), you can still continue.

I'm refocused on other projects and other priorities. I'm also knocking on new doors every day and seeing if something else will open for my writing—as well as continuing on the projects in front of me. Also make sure you celebrate the victories. I received my 27th  review on Amazon for 10 Publishing Myths.  The review came from one of my long-term friends who has written a number of New York Times bestsellers. To my surprise, this author bought my book and wrote a five star Amazon review. I was grateful for this encouragement.

Sharon Jenkins & Terry Whalin on Facebook Live talking about 10 Publishing Myths.

Books changed lives and are essential. Last week I did about a 45 minute Facebook Live video with Sharon Jenkins about 10 Publishing Myths. We talked about all of the various myths including the 11th Myth. I hope you will follow the link and watch this free workshop. We covered a lot of ground about publishing in our conversation.

This season is a different one in our lives and writing life. We will get through it but keep going. In the comments below, let me know how you are handling the perfect storm.


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