The Zen of Publishing by Deb Tiffany

In the Japanese tea ceremony, you get a cup of tea in the end but that’s not the point. It’s not about the tea. It’s about the making of the tea.

That’s everything you need to know about the process of publishing. Or, to mix metaphors: The football isn’t over there in the end zone. It’s in your own hands. So you’d best start running.

For the longest time I ignored this advice. But then, after my book was rejected again I took some time out to recharge my batteries. I wrote some stuff just for me. Maybe it was good. Maybe it wasn’t. That wasn’t the point. I just wrote some things without worrying about selling them. And it worked. I got a book contract, but, more importantly, I got my voice back.

If you do get published, you will very quickly realize what I’m talking about. There is plenty you won’t have control over–how much they’re going to push your book, for instance, or if anyone actually cares to buy it–but you will always be able to mix and pour the tea.

My advice? Learn all you can about the protocols and process of querying, editing, publishing, but then step away. Go back to the pavillion of your imagination and settle yourself on your knees. Pull your sleeve aside and draw out your whisk. Shut out everything around you and stare into your bowl of lovely, verdant powder. Lose yourself in the moment, make the best tea you can, and when it’s time to serve it, do it with pride.

Or, in other words, line up that football well before you punt it over the goalposts.

Happy New Year everybody!!!!

8 Replies to “The Zen of Publishing by Deb Tiffany”

  1. “I just wrote some things without worrying about selling them. And it worked. I got a book contract, but, more importantly, I got my voice back.” Tiffany, I had this very same experience. In fact, I was pretty sure REAL LIFE & LIARS wouldn’t sell; I just knew I loved the story and wanted the joy back in writing.

  2. I love the whole tea ceremony-football analogy, Tiffany. And I just love the way you write!

    Happy New Year everyone and just keep writing and reading!

  3. Tiffany, I think you’re terrific at writing and making tea…but the football must be KICKED over the goal post since punting would never score. 😉

    Happy Debut Year, Debs!

  4. Thanks, guys. And Larramie, you caught me out. I don’t really know much about football! Just about books. Happy New Year all.

  5. I think this is great advice. My friend and I are working on a project together and we know that the process is what is important for us. We are growing closer, learning about ourselves, and letting the story unfold as it will (although former Deb Mia King pointed out that sometimes you have to push a bit!).

    Thank you for the reminder to find your voice and just keep writing!

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