Tuesday, October 16, 2007


So hey, does that title get your attention or what? FRAUD. Ah...innocent people being duped. We all know the bad guys. The scammers.

In this case, *I* am the scammer.

Ok, so maybe I'm not a total fraud, but there are days I feel like it.

Like very possibly, today.

Tonight I'm doing my very first public workshop at my RWA chapter. Thankfully I got to pick the topic wayyyy back last spring, and I went with revisions. Revisions are my favourite part of the writing process. And I tend to be fairly competent at them (or so says my editor) which is a good thing. So perhaps I'm not a total fraud. I used to hate and be horribly afraid of changing my books. Now I look forward to it and love how editorial changes make my book stronger. So debunking the mysterious revisions process is a natural for me.

However...this coming weekend I'm giving a full day workshop for a writer's group out of town. It's called The Business of Writing.

And here's the issue for me. For one thing...despite having 7 books written and/or contracted for 2 different publishers, I'm still a relative newbie. I've really only been in on this business part of it for a little over a year. And as I'm sure many of you know, the more you learn the more you realize you have to learn. This is where the fraud thing comes in. Because I'm supposed to know what I'm talking about and there is still so much I don't know.

But then...I look back over the last 18 months and realized I've learned a heck of a lot. I've learned about contracts and deadlines and proposal writing. I've learned about the publishing process, reviews, and the dreaded promotion. LOTS of things about promotion. I've learned the feeling of holding my book in my hands and I've learned what it's like when readers write to tell you something you did that touched them, or the flip side - when you slipped up and missed it. I've also learned that time management takes on a whole new meaning.

So no, I don't have years of experience with the "biz". But I do have a lot more knowledge than I did not that long ago and if what I've learned so far helps someone else navigate the rocky road of that first year of publication, I'm happy to do it.

Just wish me luck, okay?


Michelle Monkou said...


Sometimes people can learn about life through studying books. Then some people learn by dipping through toes into the real world.

Congrats with 7 books under your belt in a short period of time. Sounds to me like you've earned the right to tell us a few things. Good luck with your workshop.


Lois said...

Congrats and good luck! :) But I imagine even someone with 60, 70 books under them, there still is plenty to learn and figure out -- the world's constantly changing and all. . . :)


Donna Alward said...

Lois I think you are right...I know from talking to authors who have published tens of books that the uncertainty doesn't go away, and that they are constantly learning. I like to think I'll be one of those, because there is always more to learn and life would be pretty boring if we knew it all!

Michelle...I think what happened is that I felt my toes didn't get dipped but I was suddenly up to my neck! LOL All the workshops I'm doing this month are concerned with helping people with things that are a little more elusive...sort of "things I wish I'd known then". I had lots of help, let me tell you!

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Donna, I can remember when you sold and it seems no time ago whatsoever. And now you've sold seven books! That's an awesome achievement and I reckon you have loads to share with these lucky folks who are doing your workshops.

Good luck and don't forget to have fun!

Lily said...

I think there is always a place to learn... whatever you do!

Laura K said...

Wow, that's an awesome accomplishment. Now you have to get out there and promo your book more. This is an excellent start- I've learned about a lot of new authors from blogs such as this one. Why not try your hand at the chat loops Yahoo has? Those are great too. Best of luck!!