Take Two? Take Five

clap-board-take-5This week on the Deb Ball, we’re talking about what we’d do differently the second time around. And honestly, I might as well just direct you to Amy’s post from Tuesday, because she nailed it.

So many things were chaos on this debut journey. So many things were out of my (and Dhonielle’s control). And being they Type A that I am, I fretted and fretted and then occasionally fretted some more. Book Two is now in copyedits, and I wish that I could tell you that i managed to change all that on the second go. But I can’t. It just wasn’t in me, given the timeline and the launch craziness and all the events we’ve been to this year. In the end, I wouldn’t change much — not that I could change much. But I do have a few take-aways.

1. The Buddy System. I got lucky in the sense that I have an actually writing and business partner to share this journey with. But I also have the Debs, and a few other fellow writers I know I can call on with publishing questions or angst — and they’ll be there with advice or just to listen. That helps. A lot.

2. Don’t vent publicly. This is a business. We are business people. We want other people in this business to want to work with us. If we’re throwing attitude all over the interwebs and complaining about every little thing, we’re not going to seem very fun to work with, right? I’m pretty hotheaded (as Dhonielle), but when it comes to work stuff, as much as I can, I save the complaints for my aforementioned buddies.

3. Relax and Enjoy. Easier said than done. But sometimes I have to remind myself — or actually Navdeep reminds me — that despite all the ups and downs, I’m in a very enviable position. I have a book out. In bookstores. And other people are reading it and liking it (or hating it) and spending time, money and energy on it. It’s hard to remember sometimes how rare and privileged that is. It’s really an opportunity, and I have to remember to appreciate it. So when the chaos inevitably descends, it’s time to take a small breather, curl up with a good book or that baby, and take stock. Yes, I still have big dreams and to-dos and ambitions. Yes, not everything has gone my way — and not everything will in the future, too. But this was a major dream, realized. And that’s a lot. That’s enough.

 

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An entertainment and lifestyle journalist published by The New York Times, People, ABC News, MSN, Cosmopolitan and other major national media, SONA CHARAIPOTRA currently curates a kickass column on YA books and teen culture for Parade.com. A collector of presumably useless degrees, she double-majored in journalism and American Studies at Rutgers before getting her masters in screenwriting from New York University (where her thesis project was developed for the screen by MTV Films) and her MFA from the New School. When she's not hanging out with her writer husband and two chatter-boxy kids, she can be found poking plot holes in teen shows like Twisted and Vampire Diaries. But call it research: Sona is the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book development company with a decidedly diverse bent. Her debut, the YA dance drama Tiny Pretty Things (co-written with Dhonielle Clayton), is due May 26 from HarperTeen. Find her on the web at SonaCharaipotra.com or CAKELiterary.com.

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