September Theme: Five Lies I have Told Myself

Stephanie J. Blake

There are five lies that I have told myself about publishing. I'm going to share them with you. Call it a public service announcement.

5. Once your book comes out, you'll start riding in limos, going on multi-city book tours, signing autographs, and stashing your cash in Switzerland.

My advance is long gone. I'm pretty sure I'll be drinking coffee in my pajamas on the day of my book release. Well, perhaps we'll go out to dinner--at Applebee's. Not everyone gets to be JK Rowling or even John Green. And that is OKAY! A book deal is like a winning lottery ticket. You might hit the Powerball or you might have a $6,000 scratch ticket. Either way, let's party.

4. You need an agent to get noticed. Hurry up and get that manuscript out the door.

Wrong. I am living proof that you can make connections and get published without an agent, over several years of trying. There are all kinds of ways to meet editors. I do not recommend stalking. If you act normal and have a good story, someone will notice. Take the time it takes to make connections--you can't rush excellence. Attend a conference, tweet, participate in contests, etc., but, above all: WRITE AN AWESOME BOOK. Then, be patient.

3. Once you sell the first book, writing the second book is easy.

There are days when I sit at my computer, play two hours worth of Bejeweled Blitz, and write one sentence. On other days, I'll force myself to open a Word doc. and . . .squirrel! I end up at the mall. It seems I would rather be trapped in a tiled locker room cleaning with a toothbrush than get that second book written. The story will come out when it comes out. Same goes with revision.

2. No one cares about my tweets, Facebook posts, or my opinion on Verla Kay's Blueboard.

I have virtual writing friends who mean the world to me. (You know who you are.) I love Twitter. In 140 characters I can connect with another writer, whether I am tweeting someone their good news or keeping in touch. That is powerful. You don't have to keep talking about your own book, there are tons of subjects to tweet about. Pass on a writing tip or contest, talk about books you are reading, etc. It's nice to be nice. On the Internet, ALWAYS BE NICE!

1.  I should write everyday.

Nope. Wrong, again. If you don't get out in the world, interact with others, smell the roses, eat the chocolate, drink the Yoohoo, you'll have nothing to say on paper. See a movie, go to a museum, and listen to your kids. Inspiration is everywhere. Writing is a job for which you may never be paid. Don't trade living life for writing about it.


  1. Love these! Especially 'Don't trade living life for writing about it'! :)

  2. I love your #4 because I think many people don't know this! Also, if I lived closer to you I would meet you at the mall :)

  3. I would totally go to the mall with you, C.K.

  4. Awesome post, Stephanie. Thanks for #4...I know it's true, but the reminder was good (and encouraging). And to #1 I say, AMEN! Don't trade living for writing!

  5. Thanks Shari, CK, and Laurie, I've "known" you gals for a long time and treasure your support!

  6. My fave is #2. I've forged more fantastic connections online than I ever could have dreamed. Believe it or not, I even met my own local teen librarian for the first time through her blog!

  7. This post was fun to write!
    Amy! You rock!
    Holly, you are the queen of all things social media.

  8. #3 all the way! (The third book is hard, too, by the way. And the fourth, and the fifth... But they are all worth it!)


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