Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scrap Plan B

I recently read a post on Michelle D. Argyle’s blog about self-publishing. Something she mentioned rang very true and I managed to warp it so that it fits other areas too.

In the first point she makes, she suggests not to self-publish as a last resort. I couldn’t agree more. Like she said, using your last resort means that there was another resort that was better.

Somewhere else, (in an unrelated incident) I read of someone that said you should not have a plan B in careers. Such as a mother’s son studying drama for example, and she tells him that he should make sure he has a plan B in case the drama falls through.
Doing that, creating a plan B, enables you to think that it’s okay to give up. You’ll always have the backup plan.

I’ll take myself as an example. I started to study accounting early on, but then the numbers started an insurrection and I let that go. (Needless to say, I’m never going back if I can help it.) I have virtually no skills other than being able to speak English and Afrikaans. If this whole writing thing fails, I have no future. I’d probably be stuck working a job that I hate and die of heart failure before I’m thirty.
So every time I get stuck in writing and ask the ever-present question “Who are you to think you can be a writer?”, I push on, because I know there’s no other path. No plan B. That’s what gets me through the hard parts.

Accept only the best.

The same applies to publishing a book. If you write a book and you know that you want to publish it through a publishing house, that’s your plan A. Don’t, after a hundred rejections, create a plan B and decide to self-publish. Rather find a way to get to plan A.
Self-publishers are often seen as people who don’t get traditionally accepted, but that’s a wrong perspective. Some of them are, yes. That is what I don’t like. They went to plan B instead of going on with plan A.
I thought a bit after reading Michelle’s post, and I realised that it works the same the other way around – though it doesn’t happen as often.
If you have a book and you have specific reasons for wanting to self-publish, that’s your plan A. Don’t chicken out later and decide to publish that book traditionally (unless there is a GOOD reason, as in you’re broke and can’t pay self-publishing costs, but even then, you’d be better off waiting for a time when you can afford it). That means you’re going to plan B.

Plan B is the plan you don’t want to follow. You want plan A. Don’t accept anything less than the best.

Plan A is your dream. Plan B is giving up.

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