Monday, March 25, 2013

Publishing isn't like middle school...or is it?

Hey, Laura here.

I probably don’t even have to explain the title of my post. I don’t know anyone who wishes they could go back to middle school. High school? Maybe.

But never those years of 6th-8th.

I thought it was over when I shook the dust of middle school from my feet. The awkward dances, dreaded lunch periods, and the whispered gossip. As my kids yearn to grow up and leave their problems behind, I tell them.

“There are always mean kids. Cliques. Gossip. Hurtful words.”

I do see this in the publishing industry. Authors feeling jilted or not cool enough. Maybe they don’t realize people are actually reading their random tweets or blog posts. lol. At the same time, that’s just a small percentage. Overall, the writers I rub shoulders with are all extremely supportive and nice.

As with anything, my biggest advice in publishing would be keep your eyes on your paper. There’s always someone doing better than you and there’s always someone not as well off. And that eerily echoes what I tell my kids. That there’s always someone with more money, better vacations, a cooler house.

Don’t compare. Be thankful.

Once you let it bother you, once that bug grabs hold of you…it never ends. You reach the level you dreamed of being at only to realize that that isn’t quite enough. There’s even higher levels to reach.

Be happy. Be content. I do believe it’s possible to be both those things while reaching for the stars.

The answer to whether publishing is like middle school or not is….

it’s your choice.

 Laura Pauling @laurapauling writes about spies, murder and mystery. She's the author of the Circle of Spies Series for teens: The Almost Assassin (a short prequel), A Spy Like Me and Heart of an Assassin.


  1. Excellent post! You're so right.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Great ost, Laura! It's so true! No matter how much I try, I always find that my "eyes are on someone else's paper."

  3. I know. It's not easy. I've been there. But it does absolutely nothing for my creative work or my mood. It brings nothing to positive to my life. I believe we can keep an eye on other authors, the market, the industry without it makes us feel bad.

  4. I love this. It is truly all up to what we allow it to be.

  5. This is a great post! So true. I have to keep reminding myself of this. I survived high school. I ain't going back. =)

  6. Awesome post Laura, honestly. "Keep your eyes on your own paper" and "Be thankful" are two very important quotes to remember for everyone, including myself. Thank you for the reminder!

  7. This is great advice. It's so easy to look at other authors' successes and get envious! "Keep your eyes on your own paper" says it all!

  8. This is so true. I think it's because when we're writing we tend to go into a child-like state where creative things can happen. But then when we surface and go online we're still not wearing our "grown-up" armor. I just had one of those "back to middle school" moments when I saw that a blogger who was rude to me has been asked to teach at a conference I was turned down for. It felt just like 7th grade, when your BFF starts having lunch with the mean girls. I need to put on my big girl panties and be grateful for what I have, don't I?

  9. I just read a post where all the author did was complain about a book critic who was not willing to go on a blog tour with her for the author's new book. What was the point of this? Just thank the people who have helped along the way.

  10. I think we'll always be faced with these kinds of situations, no matter what level of success we find or whatever point we're at.

    Thanks for sharing Anne. I agree - that would be tough!