For the most part, I love being a part of the world of publishing. Seriously, how lucky am I that I get to have regular conversations with authors, editors and book bloggers. I can jump online and chat any time of the day or night with people who are just as passionate about books as I am.
And I know many of you are hopefuls. So many of you who work hard and dream big about breaking into the publishing scene. You've got inspiration boards in your office and affirmations stuck to your mirror. You know exactly what you'll say to Oprah when she asks you about your book and you're pretty sure what color dress you want to wear to your movie premier.
To you, the beautifully hopeful, I say to keep holding on to those dreams.
But know this.
Publishing is not a path for those who get a little squeamish at the site of blood. It is a grueling trip that can be the often touted uphill in the snow, both ways walk all our grandparents took to school. There are days when I want to pull my hair out or punch someone right in the gut. There are days when I cry and days when I laugh and eat chocolate so I can keep from crying.
Like everything else in the world, publishing is both beautiful and painful.
I say this not to dissuade you from running at your dreams full steam ahead. Go for it and rally all the others with your battle cry.
But be certain that you know what you are running toward. Because no one is immune to the process. Every author of every book in every book store in every country all over the world has felt the miraculous highs and the momentous lows that come as part and parcel of the publishing journey. And in order to achieve those futures you dream of, you'll have to fight for them.
Everyone knows you'll have to work hard. That should be a long gone conclusion. But don't doubt that your hard will not be enough. You will have to fight and there will be injuries and possibly blood loss. And if that sounds like too much, then publishing may not be the right road for you. Write on, for sure, write your words and share them with the people you love who love you back. But understand that to publish means to pour all of you out, and like a tube of toothpaste, once it's out, it can't be squeezed back in.
The world of books is wonderful and marvelous and it brings me joy on a daily basis. But it also brings challenge in the way that builds character in the people we write onto the page. So before you decide on where you're going, figure out how hard you're willing to fight to get there. Then go fight.