In my home office, one of my
first actions of the day is to turn on my coffee pot and brew some coffee. Yet
today it bubbled and gurgled and spilled. My coffee pot was a little off kilter
and not in the place to catch the coffee so it backed up, spilt and made a
To prepare for the moment I'll
turn on my coffee pot, the day before I add the water, put
in the filter and the grounds so it is ready for me to turn it on and brew the
coffee. It has rarely happened but this morning, I had a mess on my hands—and a
choice. I could react with anger and disappointment or calmness and just clean
the mess. I cleaned up the mess.
I'm writing this story because I
see comparisons to my life as a writer and editor. Sometimes there are
-authors don't deliver what they
are supposed to deliver to publishers.
-authors deliver late—many
authors miss their deadlines and are notoriously date with their
-authors that I expect to sign
their contract, go in a different direction.
-the books are not selling. If
you have purchased books and they are not selling, then this situation can be a
mess and disappointing for authors.
-the writing is not working and
storytelling is not good and needs rewriting. Yes you are putting words on your
page but they are not the right words and basically create a mess.
-your computer isn't working
right or you have some other website glitch.
The potential list is
endless. Each time I have choices how I respond—disappointment or calmness and
acceptance. I recommend calmness because the results and outcome are much
These days are strange with hard
economic times for some, sickness and even death for others. Yet our lives as
writers and storytellers are important and vital to keep going. It is a choice
to stop and do something else. For my life, I know I am called to this work and
continue it—the good and the bad.
Yesterday I needed to call one of
my authors and talk about an editorial issue. I took her phone number from her
signature—and it did not connect. I double checked the number in other
emails—same. I finally looked at her proposal which had a different number. When
I tried that number I got an answering machine and left a message. Two numbers
were reversed. When I spoke with this author later in the day, I told her about
the error in her email signature (which goes out in every email). She
appreciated my telling her about this detail. In her next email, it was
I'm learning every day —important
lessons about life and publishing. I hope you are as well. In the comments, let
me know some of your lessons.
Labels: authors, Book Proposals That Sell, books, choices, coffee, details, phone number, publishing, Terry Whalin, writing