What NOT to Do When Starting a New Writing Project (Plus Prompt)

Publish date:

It can seem spectacularly impossible hard to insulate yourself in your writing bomb shelter when working on a new project, but for the sake of your mental health and the well-being of your work, might that be a solid path to follow? Publishing insider Patricia Holt shares her thoughts in the Top 20 Tips From WD in 2009 series:

No. 4: Dodge the News
“The most demoralizing thing to do when you’re starting a book project is to keep abreast of book industry news. Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, Shelf Awareness, Publishers Lunch, mediabistro.com and others don’t report on routine publishing matters. What makes news for them are big advances, breakthrough campaigns and startling author bios—all of which are irrelevant and distracting (and, in some awful way, diminishing) to you now. So the first thing to do is get away from the madness that publishing has become.”
Patricia Holt, from the July/August 2009 Publishing 101 issue (click here to check it out).

Of course, we at WD mag are guilty of reporting on publishing homeruns, too—and Patricia’s advice is something we try to bear in mind when fleshing out how we frame different topics in each issue (and penning our own work).

To kick off Thanksgiving week, a special thanks to WD superstar Brian A. Klems for updating the blog—with, appropriately, a Thanksgiving prompt—when I was out of town last week. (And I’m not sure if meat is your bag, but I’m getting pumped about some holiday eating and writing as the bird approaches…)


Feel free to take the following prompt home or post your response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our occasional around-the-office swag drawings (a comment from the last month will be picked at random Wednesday!).

Your boat rocks back and forth, and you peer over the edge, catching a glimpse of something you thought was gone forever.