SpoCon Panel: Redefining Success

Of eight SpoCon panels that I'm participating in, this is the one where I want to take notes as much as talk. Like all writers, I know that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to pausing and appreciating success. I want to be better at it.  I want the amazing writers and editors I know to be better at it too. They are successes. They need to know that their work is fantastic.

Last year, at a panel, a group of writers and editors talked about how they didn't see themselves as professionals or successful professionals because they all knew someone who had landed a larger book contract, been reviewed more often online, or just sold that first story faster. When I was growing up and going to writing conferences, people talked about success as when they reached the level of Stephen King or Ken Follett or Danielle Steel. These days, I hear more about you're a success when you've sold as much as J. K. Rowling or Brandon Sanderson or George RR Martin. These are very unrealistic benchmarks.

During last year's panel, I challenged that view that the pros talking weren't successful even through I was in a selling slump. I brought up all the challenges of trying to write professionally: multiple rejections, editors who go off to start lama farms, editors who go off to work for Amazon, and the difficulty of standing out in a crowded market. And how I kept writing. Kept selling. That's a small victory if nothing else. Everyone knew what I was talking about -- although I'm still the only one who lost an editor to lama farming -- and we all agreed that we needed to celebrate our success as much as mourn those failures.

I went away very jazzed about writing and thinking I needed to plunge into bigger projects. Just weeks before this year's conference, I signed a new book contract. It comes with an advance, an editor who doesn't seem inclined to lamas, and a number of ideas that are bubbling in my brain on how to make this story the best yet.


Re-defining Success

Saturday Aug 10 01:00 PM to 01:45 PM (45 minutes)

The Historic Davenport Hotel - Worthy


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