Earlier this year, I weighed all my commitments and realized that I needed to let some things go. Unfortunately, Pub(lishing) Crawl made that list, and while I am sad about it, I've been posting (almost) monthly for six years. My departure will make a space for someone new, with fresh thoughts and enthusiasm.
With my final post, I wanted to leave you with some encouragement:
1. Finish your book.
You can, and it matters. Whether it's your first or your fiftieth, finishing a manuscript is a huge accomplishment and should be celebrated. There is nothing like that feeling of working for weeks or months or years, giving so much time and energy, and finally typing END. Give yourself that gift.
2. Protect your booklove.
Regardless whether you're published or trying to get published, this business is really difficult. It can make you question yourself, your skills, your worthiness -- everything. I know it's easier said than done, but protect your love for your book. You got into this writing thing because you have stories to tell. Don't let outside voices and worries become a poison.
3. Do your best.
Be open to learning and improving your craft. Your story deserves to be the best you can make it, so read widely, study craft books, and welcome thoughtful criticism. There's always more to learn, and ultimately, it's up to you to get your book into its best shape possible. After all, it's your name on the cover.
4. Find your balance.
It can be so easy to dive face-first into the bookworld and forget everything else. But make sure you take the time to visit with friends and family. Go places. Develop hobbies that aren't about books. When booklife gets overwhelming, it's important to have somewhere else to go.
5. Remember your readers.
In young adult, we have a lot of adult readers, but our target audience is teens. As we write and promote and engage online, remember who we're hoping to reach.
Thanks for a great six years, Pub)lishing Crawl.