Monday, June 20, 2022

Effective preparation


I keep this saying in my eyeline:

Selling is 80% preparation; 20% execution.




I need to remind myself of this at least once a week and sometimes once a day.


I need to remind myself that reading books (for comps, for assessing editor's taste, for keeping up on what people are reading), reading Kirkus, reading PW, and yes following Twitter conversations is real work, not slacking off.


Effective selling is the result of effective preparation.


Effective preparation is writing a compelling pitch letter, complete with effective comps, and statements about why the book belongs on that particular publisher's list, accompanied by a carefully copy edited and formatted manuscript.


That takes time.

I'm impatient.

Thus the reminder.


Do you have sayings taped in your eyeline?

What do you need to remind yourself to do...or not do?




E.M. Goldsmith said...

I have to remind myself to be patient.And to keep trying. I do the best I can with my website and my social media. I am taking way longer with my beta and revision process. I am about to do a second round of beta reading after significant revisions which I usually never do. I try to be more true to myself as that is an easier way, I find, to connect to other people. And it is word of mouth that sells books so more people you know, well, you know. Also, lots of therapy. Lots. It helps with the rejection and the long-grind involved in being a writer.

Dena Pawling said...

"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always." - Robin Williams

Ash Complin said...


It's short for "Why am I talking?". It's a reminder to stop talking so much. It prevents me from saying too much off the cuff and regretting in later. I also learn a lot more when I let others fill in the silence.

I just need a way to remember that outside of my cubicle now. :-P

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

As I wrote in a comment a few days ago, that got eaten by the comment gremlins, I now live in a sort-of, compared to where I used to live, tiny house. On the window frame next to my kitchen table where I write are sticky-note reminders and sayings.
My eyeline reminder of the day?
Time is going to pass no matter what -so- get off your ass and do “what.”
Feels good to be what-ing with you this morning. It’s been way too long.

Leslie said...

All excellent sayings!

I keep a small cup (attached to a white board next to my computer) with horoscopes that I've clipped. Not the "wear blue and don't make any left turns this morning) stuff, but more like "Stay the course, Capricorn. When you are persistent, life has a habit of giving you what you want"

Bunny said...

I used to believe that successful creative types possessed a "talent" gene that enabled them to sit down and bang out masterpieces effortlessly, whether that be paintings, or ball gowns, or best sellers. The rest of us could try, but no matter how hard we worked we couldn't ever achieve that level of success.
That notion was dispelled when I took a watercolor class from a local artist whose work was simply brilliant. I was shocked when she led us through the weeks or months of preparatory work that went into every one of her pieces. She transformed an amorphous idea into a workable framework through sketch after sketch, mixing colors and testing paper. Only when she was pleased with that framework would she finally touch brush to paper. And those steps were all things we could learn and master.
I still struggle with itching to jump ahead to the fun stuff--picking up a pen or a brush with little thought given to the underpinnings I require for a good result. I realize that some folks can operate in "pantster" mode, but it just doesn't work for me. I have too many discarded projects to believe otherwise.

CynthiaMc said...

I have a little sign that says Explorers are Never Lost. My daily mantra is "If you're still breathing, it's not too late."

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose...

Kitty said...

"If you can dream it you can do it." ~~ Walt Disney

Kathleen Marple Kalb said...

Have the courage to fail one more time -- Thomas Edison.

Panda in Chief said...

The post it notes stuck to the top of my computer this year:
Pretend you are someone who can do it.

I'm not sure is they have been effective, but maybe? Anyway, I need the reminders.

Just Jan said...

"Finish each day and be done with it."

It's the first line of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, and I'm 100% convinced he wrote it for me.

Kitty said...

"At some point you're going to say, 'Okay, it's going to be bad.' You've got to stand being bad if you want to be a writer. Because if you don't you're never going to write anything good." ~~ David Mamet on writing

LynnRodz said...

My niece/god-child gave me a keychain years ago for my birthday that I keep with me always. It's a silver heart with the saying:

Life is a journey,
God is my guide.
We travel safely together
side by side.

It's a comforting thought, especially when times are hard. I know it's not what you were asking for, but that's all I've got for today. I always wear a mask when I go shopping or use public transportation, so who end up with Covid once again? Me, go figure.

Theresa said...

I especially love the Emerson quote Jan provided, and that might be my new mantra. For writing inspiration, I have a small cocktail napkin with the words: "Perfect women have lame stories."

John Davis Frain said...

I tell my kids to think like this: If it is to be, it is up to me.

I attribute it to George Raveling, but I've seen it attributed to others. As Yogi Berra once said (or didn't): I never said half the things people say I said.

Shah Kou said...

"Don't drink and Tweet!"

Shah Kou said...

Oh, and on the R.H.S. of that message, I have a sticker which reads: "Well behaved women seldom make history." Under this I have a bright yellow sticky note on which I've written: "But seriously, don't drink and Tweet until you've made history."

B. DuBois said...

I have two:

"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit."

AJ Blythe said...

(catching up on my blog reading, sorry I'm so late to the party)

I have 4...
One from our Queen: Writers block is brought on by wanting to write well and fearing you're not. You don't have to write well, you have to revise well.

Give yourself permission to do it badly at first. Improve as you go. Don't aim for perfection - it doesn't exist. Perfectionism is a form of procrastination. IF you give into it, it will hold you back from fully expressing yourself and kill your creative energy.

Never give up! Never surrender!

The most painful thing to experience is not defeat, but regret.