Damage Control

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley.”  –Robert Burns

fossilWriters, like everyone else, make plans and budget their time. We need to keep track of when manuscripts are due and the closing dates of submission periods. We write on a schedule that works for us (for some, that’s daily; for others, it’s “bursts;” for still others, it’s five days a week, or four, or weekends…but whatever it is, we’re writing regularly). We’re signing contracts and reviewing edits and receiving author copies in the mail.

At least…we should be.

Sometimes, despite our best-laid plans, something goes wrong. A wrench is thrown into the gears.

Now what?

This month is about damage control. Sometimes it’s personal: there’s a crisis in your life that’s making it difficult to concentrate on your writing career. Sometimes it’s got nothing to do with your actions at all: the publisher who accepted your story has unexpectedly gone out of business, or someone is giving you nasty one-star reviews that seem baseless, or your computer keeps crashing, or you’ve just realized you’re not going to be able to afford to do any cons this year. Sometimes it’s your story: why won’t this plot come together? Why do people say my main character is “unlikable?”

One of the major differences between professionals and amateurs is in the way they respond in a crisis. This month’s posts contain insights from the Fictorians on how to handle the flying wrenches that come our way with grace and professionalism.

“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” –Allen Saunders

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