Friday, April 13, 2012

Yin and Yang (Or: The Ups and Downs of a Novelist's Life)

If you've ever doubted the life of a novelist is filled with peaks and troughs, you only need to look at a typical week. It's crazy, this job . . . I've worked in high-stress industries before, but never have I experienced the highs and lows of the writing life.

Here's a look at my past week.



Highs (yay!):


- The wonderful Helen Redders baking home-made Jaffa Cakes in honour of Serenity, my main character in Build A Man, who loves them. Totally made my day!

- Three different people asking me on the same day when the sequel to Build A Man is due out (late May, in case you were wondering). :)

- A Facebook friend letting me know she spotted someone on the Toronto subway reading The Hating Game.


Lows (boo!):

- Writing a scene. Deleting it. Writing it again. Deleting it again. Pounding the desk in frustration.

- Discovering I won't be able to get my 2011-Amazon-withheld-money-due-to-international-tax-issues released without a very lengthy procedure. Pounding desk in frustration.

- Going on Goodreads and accidentally seeing a, well, not exactly complimentary review of my one my books (I say accidentally because I really try not to read my own reviews)! I'm more hardened now than I was, but still...

- Having a nightmare where I open my novel and everything is covered in so much red ink I can't even make out the text underneath it.

So there you have it! The yin and the yang of a novelist's life. But you know what? 

I wouldn't trade it in for anything.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

62 comments:

  1. Keep on writing!

    Have a great weekend too : )

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  2. Our 'job' definitely has its highs and lows! But, like you, I wouldn't change it.

    Enjoy your weekend, Talli. :)

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  3. At least you have balance.

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  4. I am very up and down. And that's wonderful that someone saw a random stranger reading your book. That is so cool! Even though I've only just been published, I'm trying not to look at the reviews, and I do have pretty tough skin but you can't help but be affected a little bit.

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  5. So busy! Keep up the awesome work!

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  6. It's all part of the job, isn't it, Talli! But we keep going and you're keeping your sense of humour!

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  7. I know about those highs and lows!

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  8. Yep. You got it there. Sometimes it feels like I'm on a treadmill and I'm making no progress at all--yet I'm working SO hard!

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  9. Ah, I so needed to see this today! Highs: people excited when I change my FB profile pix, asking when the new cover for my next book will be up; reviewers signing up to review it; friend emailing to say that her library is carrying my first book. Lows: FB Timeline sucking out my soul; waking up to a computer that WON'T TURN ON...my 10yo fixed it; finishing an amazing book and wondering if I'll ever be able to write something as good.

    BEST PART: I get to write today. :)

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  10. Some authors say they never ever read reviews but it must take a lot of self-restraint. :)

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  11. How lovely to get told someone has been spotted reading your book! Boo to review. Yeah to a writer's life!

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  12. Yikes! Now I'm wondering what those tax issues are since I was thinking about self pubbing a book through amazon.com and uk and I live in France. HMn...

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  13. I'm now wondering about the tax issue thing too. Oh please, Talli, tell us more about this issue!

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  14. You have such a great attitude! Don't mind those bad reviews - EVERY book gets them (easy for me to say since I don't know what it's like to have my book reviewed!!). I am so excited to read your book!

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  15. You made me smile with this one, Talli.

    There are so many ups and downs in any profession, but particularly in the artistic ones.

    You have to enjoy what you're doing and be determined to keep moving.

    Um, I'm thinking you might want some padding on that desk, lol!

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  16. Everyone gets bad reviews, of course... I don't know if everyone gets red ink nightmares!

    The highs outdo the lows!

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  17. I can't wait for "Build a Man" AND I'm darn glad that the highs outweigh the lows for you and you continue to release new books for us. :) Have a great weekend!!

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  18. Lovely Talli!! I say home made jaffa cakes TRUMPS all the bad things!! Yay!! Take care
    x

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  19. Yes, even the lows teach us things and give our brains a workout! Those sort of bad reviews though? Well, ouch.

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  20. That is a good policy not reading reviews. Sort of like a high profile sports figure should never listen to sports talk or read the sports page.

    Here is to all the good things!

    Enjoy your weekend Talli.

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  21. LOL. I think your boos are pretty good! :o) I'd love to have some withheld money to try and get a hold of! hehehehe

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  22. Ahhh, there's nothing like a good roller coaster ride. I'm currently reading Watching Willow Watts. Jay is SUCH a jerk!

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  23. I've noticed the formatting on the Kindle version of my recent novel has some funky indenting and a second font from time to time. I need to finish fixing these. Frustrating, but no biggie. Just a few sporadic blips here and there.

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  24. Thank God for wine! Yep, people always think the grass is greener and running your own business is easy. Nope! I work harder now than before but as you said...wouldn't change it for the world! Happy weekend!

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  25. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world either. Ups and downs are a part of everyone's lives. Being a writer is just like anything else.

    Happy weekend!

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  26. I totally relate to this one, Talli. I can't believe how many up and down days this writing/publishing business has dealt me. Very interesting, though. So I'm not ready to say goodbye to it.

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  27. 'Going on Goodreads and accidentally seeing a, well, not exactly complimentary review of my one my books (I say accidentally because I really try not to read my own reviews)! I'm more hardened now than I was, but still...'

    Everyone's a critic. And typically the most feckless critics are the ones who have no clue how much work and sacrifice it requires. Have a nice, mildly-scalding cup of coffee and shove it out of your mind for good. Onward, T.

    Have a great weekend.

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  28. LOL! Ah yes, the joys of the ups and downs. I know them so well now. *weeps*

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  29. The highs and lows of a novelist's life. The yin and yang for balance, since everyday isn't perfect. Yet what is the balance for this: Doing what you love :-)

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  30. Sometimes the downs are so low you just want to start a fire and burn anything with words. Other days, it's great!

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  31. I've been re-reading "Bird by Bird" and this sounds a lot like how Anne Lamott describes it...

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  32. There are ups and downs in all jobs though those connected to the arts seem to create more.

    Have a good week-end.
    Yvonne.

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  33. Regarding the negative review, you can't please everyone, can you? But yay for the highs! They always make it all worthwhile!

    High for me today: ORACLE's teaser excerpt is released! :D

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

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  34. You are BRILLIANT for not reading your reviews. I don't read them either - and I don't have a book out! :)

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  35. Thank goodness that last one was only a dream! I deleted and rewrote the middle of a scene today - but only once. It is still first draft, so must move forward. Now I'm going to read the great review of Build a Man - which I loved!

    Happy Weekend :)

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  36. Ahhhh the life of a writer. Enjoyed the post Talli, thank you x

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  37. Ack, book reviews. *chews nails nervously* I've already decided I won't be reading mine either! Sorry to hear about the frustrations, but hurrah for the ups. And the home made jaffa cakes sound AWESOME!

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  38. It doesn't matter how many downs we have writing seems to be something we can't help doing.

    You deserve all those great reviews, meh to the bad ones!

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  39. So the highs and lows don't stop even when you have books our.... Great!
    But alas... I will keep writing too.
    Happy weekend
    Xx

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  40. That sounds like a seriously roller-coaster week!

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  41. Oh, that not-so-complimentary review on Goodreads (BTW I have recently read a warning from a blogger/writer to stay away from Goodreads!). I can so relate to the trauma of a bad review. There are a few women who have trashed ME personally on Amazon. Of course the "I" of my memoir is ME! And one said the book was boring. Well, I HAVE developed a thicker skin and find myself laughing now. But I AM with you on not reading reviews, especially not the ones under four stars. What's the point? But remember: there's a possibility that someone might read a bad review and be curious to read the book, just to see what it's about. Highs and lows. But we keep writing, don't we? YOU will, because you're A Writer, and a very good one!

    I haven't been over for a while, so it's nice to see your beautiful smiling face again.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  42. Sounds like a typical week. At least you made some money to tax.

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  43. We all have those weeks. Keep writing...you have a gift

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  44. I felt your frustration! ((Hug)) What was with the red ink in the novel though?

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  45. I totally understand the ups and downs of being a writer. Don't forget to keep strong and to persist in what you are doing. I'm glad to hear about your week.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  46. Don't the lows make the highs much more worthwhile? With your talent, I know they'll be many more highs ahead! Julie

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  47. Hi Talli. Maybe we're all suffering a mental illness, lol! You can't beat the writer's life for exhilaration though.

    I'm looking forward to your next novel. I may get time to review Build a Man around then! Don't worry about the lows. I think hearing about someone reading your novel is awesome! Getting money off Amazon is not, well, not when it's witheld!

    Denise

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  48. You know better than to read reviews, Talli. The problem with a bad one is that it can be debilitating and rob you of your creative energy, rob you even of the energy to go to the bathroom to throw up. I know, having a less than glowing one from an Amazon reviewer in the Breakthrough Novel Award contest. But like you, I wouldn't trade this life for anything.

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  49. If I ever see someone reading my book on the subway, I will make a scene by hugging a complete stranger! lol I definitely understand the roller coaster that is the writing life... wishing you a TON of highs to make up for the lows. Have a great weekend! :)

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  50. That is definitely a bunch of yo-yo experiences, some good and some bad. Argh, and cyberhugs on the not-so-complimentary review. Bound to happen, I guess--at least it's balanced out by enthusiastic ones! I hope I never stumble across any unflattering reviews after I'm published...

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  51. Fun post! The Good reads thing..ugh! If I'm ever lucky enough to be published it will be a disaster if I ever come across a not so nice review. I will for sure fall apart even though I know better. Some of my very favorite books have a couple of the dumbest bad reviews online. I instantly hate those people! lol

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  52. You really had a dream with all that red ink? I would have called it a nightmare too - I have a red ink phobia. ;)

    It's a good thing your week was balanced - a little of both good and bad, not just all bad!

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  53. Oh, those highs and lows. But I'm glad you're not going to trade it--we need your books!

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  54. I wouldn't trade it for anything either. :)

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  55. Glad the highs are more than the lows. Everyone has different tastes. One of my most favourite books has some really awful reviews on Amazon , you can't please all the people all the time.

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  56. So glad to hear that you are not trading it, I love your books. That's why I got my kindle to read your books! Keep Writing those books!

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  57. How cool having people report in about your book sightings. :) Congratulations on the great reviews and phooey on the not so great one....

    We all adore you Talli!

    Have a great week! :D

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  58. Congratulations on all the Highs! Ignore the Lows!

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  59. I think your highs make up for your lows there.

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  60. I am with Nas Dean. Yay highs, who cares about the lows :-)

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  61. At least it's always interesting, right? Have a great week, Talli!

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Coffee and wine for all!