In Publishing, Ya Gotta Just Keep Writing

Calling Debut Authors! Now Accepting Applications for the 2018 Debutante Ball! Read this post to learn more. Hurry! The deadline is July 28!

This week the Debs are writing about what we’ve learned in our debut year and what advice we’d give to forthcoming authors. Mine: ya gotta keep writing (and reading). That big scary shark? Yep, that’s the publishing industry. And in order to survive, I’ve learned ya need two things.

1. Friends to hold onto. Being part of the Debutante Ball has been immensely helpful. So has being part of another debut group called 17Scribes. In an industry that sometimes bears its teeth, having others to share notes with can be very helpful. Though, I will caution that sharing notes and comparing yourself to your author friends can create a lot of self doubt as well. The best thing I’ve found I can do during my debut year (and beyond) is to get started on my…

2. Next big idea. While it can sometimes be hard to concentrate on writing while waiting to see what Bigshot Reviewer will say about your book or how many copies you’ll sell, et al., I’ve found it really helpful to create new words. This year I’ve written Book #2 (about Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree) with my publisher Tor/Forge, along with Book #1 and Book #2 for a new middle grade nonfiction series with Scholastic. It’s been a wonderful distraction (and quite frankly a better use of my time) than worrying about all the things I can’t control within the publishing industry. Plus, I’m eager to build and establish myself as an author, which is rather dependent on me writing more books. At the moment, I’m anxiously awaiting word on Book #3 with Tor/Forge. I can’t wait to get started and just keep writing.

I’ve also found that reading has been profoundly helpful during my debut year. After spending time with my own words, it’s very refreshing and inspiring to spend time with another author’s. I usually end my day with a chapter or two. Thankfully, as part of 17Scribes, I’ve had (early) access to so so many wonderful books in various genres. In fact, I’ve been able to read a total of 17 books (so far) by my fellow scribes in the past few months. Take a look below to see what I’ve been reading and click through to see what I had to say about the book. I bet you’ll find a few to add to your TBR!

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Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at jennilwalsh.com.