A Helpful Reminder for the Worrying Writer: It’s All Inventory

Scott William Carter   February 27, 2009  

I had to remind myself today, as I sometimes do, that there are only three things as a writer I really should be focused on:

1. Writing
2. Getting better at writing
3. Giving my books the best shot at reaching the widest possible audience

I can’t control the state of the economy. I can’t control how editors respond to my work. All I can do is write and strive to become the best writer I can be — studying other storytellers, digging deeper into myself, reaching for it. And when that’s done, I can make sure the books and stories get on the desks of editors who can help me reach as many readers as possible.

Beyond that? Not much.

Worrying about things beyond those three areas is a lot of wasted energy. Of course, it’s easier said then done sometimes, but the more focused I am on what I can control, the happier and more productive I am.

The good news? If you’re in this for the long haul, as I am, everything you write is inventory — whether it sells now or later. That’s the great thing about writing fiction. With few exceptions, it’s not date sensitive. We’re not writing newspaper copy here. I’ve had short stories I’ve sold ten years after I wrote them, so I’ve already seen this proven in my own life.

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