Friday, February 22, 2013

A Shift of Mind and Heart: February Theme by Jen Cervantes

When I sold my first book, Tortilla Sun, I was swept away with editing, PR planning, conference presentations, book signings, and the blessings of awards and better reviews than I could have hoped for. With these blessings came something else: I felt compelled to write the next book which really translated to selling the next book. Unfortunately, this kept me far far away from the art of writing, from the creative joy I felt when I wrote Tortilla Sun. For the first couple of years afterward, I often said that I wished I could go back to that magical place of first book ignorance...that place where no critic was sitting on my shoulder, whispering the should’s and shouldnt’s. But I also said I could never go back, that I’d never know that place again. As time passed and I hit road block after road block with my writing, I realized I had it wrong. I could go back—I could rediscover that creative carefree space where story trumped everything else. Maybe the best part of all was realizing I had to go through lots of ups and downs, many rejections (even making it to acquisitions) before I understood that all that stuff was getting in the way and that selling the next book wasn’t nearly as important as taking the journey of writing it.

3 comments:

  1. I think many writers go through this same journey. The key is too remember that writing the book is more important than selling it. Otherwise we would all be used car salesmen.
    And the way to remember--every time that salesman interrupts our writing, show him the door.

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  2. Ah, Dia...You are so wise. And I understand exactly what you mean, Jen. The irony is that I've found that projects written with great joy sell faster (maybe because the reader feels that joy)...

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