Deb Rachel Cares The Most

MWF Seeking BFF, by Rachel BertscheOf all the best advice I’ve ever received, most of it can be filed under “Duh.”

If someone invites you somewhere “just to be nice”…that’s a really good reason. 

After years of sunburns, you are not suddenly going to tan. 

If he says he doesn’t like you, believe him. 

Curly girls cannot have bangs.

When it comes to writing and publishing advice, the same holds true. The best advice I’ve ever received is totally obvious, and yet hearing it said aloud felt like a lightbulb moment.

And it is this:

No one cares about your book as much as you do.

Seems like a “No doy” kind of statement, I know. And yet, it’s so important to keep in mind through the entire publishing process.

When others think you need to take a breather and stop writing for a bit.

When you can’t decide if you want to read the manuscript one more time, or just trust the copy editors.

When you’re deciding if you want to reach out to a press contact that you know personally, or just leave it up to your publicist.

There are plenty of parties invested in the success of your book–your agent, your editor, your publisher, your publicist. Your husband. Your mom. Your BFFs.

But YOU will always care the most. Always.

Lately, I keep this in mind on the days when I’m exhausted from promoting. When I don’t want to write one more email or guest post. When I worry that my next email is the one that is going to send my book publicist over the edge.

That is not to say I harass the people I work with or beat a dead horse. I try not to send emails that have no productive value. I am careful to recognize when revisions are over, rather than tinkering with  language forever and ever. But if I’m deciding whether or not to send an email with a suggestion that I truly think could help my book, or whether or not to reach out to a distant contact who might be interested in MWF Seeking BFF, I remember that nobody else cares about this book as much as I do. So if I’m not working my butt off, nobody will be.

What is it that you care about more than anyone else?

10 Replies to “Deb Rachel Cares The Most”

  1. I think this is an enormously vital piece of advice to keep us all from pulling out our hair. As my husband would always remind me when I would refresh my email minutes (okay, SECONDS) after sending out a query or a requested partial, and lo! nothing yet, that for us the writer, our book is the ONLY thing on our plate–but for everyone else, it is only one of many things they have to consider. Which is why I think the only thing that can combat the waiting demon is to get working on a new project in the interim. But that said, yes–that singular passion is also important to keep the momentum of our energy for our project–no matter what stage it’s in–intact.

    Oh, and the bangs rule holds true for girls with wavy hair too. I should know. I’ve broken the rule too many times in my life and always had the same result. Talk about beating a dead horse!

    1. Absolutely agree about getting to work on a new project. It keeps you from obsessing during all those long stretches of waiting involved in the publishing process.

      Re bangs and wavy hair: it can be done, but it involves a lot of time with a blow dryer. *wry grin*

    2. Ha, yes. I’m always reminding myself that my agent and editor apparently have other authors, as well as me? I mean, of course I’m their FAVORITE, but….

  2. You are so, so right! YOU are your book’s best and most important advocate. Your agent, of course, has a vested interest in seeing it succeed, but let’s face it — agents have more than one client, and have to divide their attention between a lot of demands. Same with your editor. So it’s up to you to stay on top of the care and feeding of baby book, to make sure it gets all the attention it needs. 😉

  3. True words, for sure. I care about my book A LOT. Probably more than is healthy and I do try not to let the crazy seep out too much, but there are times when it happens. But yes, this is very good to keep in mind. Thanks, Rachel.

    (I really shouldn’t have bangs, either, though I’ve tried over the years – what is the appeal?)

    1. Oh, I see the appeal (I’m talking to you, little pensive groove between my eyebrows that is no longer cute!) 😉

      But I really am like some kind of infant who keeps touching the fire and gets burned–truly, without fail at least once every five years, I “try” bangs (as if I’ve never “tried” them before?) and the result is always the same.

      Burn, baby, burn.

    2. I want bangs, too! I cut them in 2010 for a Halloween costume & then spent the next 12 months complaining about how awful they were, with the exception of like three days last February when they were super cute. Those three days haunt me, because maybe…… what if…… again…..

  4. I’ve heard people say books are like children, but for me, there’s no comparison. I care about my books so much – maybe a little too much, sometimes – but my kids and husband come first, always!

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