This is an edited re-post of an older blog, but the contents remain relevant.
All writers get moments when they feel like giving up. Hard to say why this is. A long wait for a response, a snarky comment at the worst possible moment, the longest winter that a person can remember… Bad news can make other areas of life seem unworthy and for the writer sometimes their work takes the brunt. I doubt I will ever give up writing but I am aware I do need to attend to more than just one genre — I love to write as I read, meaning anything and everything, and getting to join the Space, 1889 steampunk project was a proverbial deep breath of crisp air. It was also exhausting. One title had to be turned over at very short notice, was the second story I worked on and my first ever co-authored book. The first piece I wrote came out a few months later and required a good deal of research. Anyone reading would probably be amazed to see the list of study material. No doubt, it’s not immediately obvious, and no reason should it be — the whole point is the reader shouldn’t necessarily know it’s there.
I’m straying a little, though. The project reminded me of how I like many styles and genres, and that we all need a rest. At the time, I was with three publishers who take romance, two of which specialised in erotica, and one who was a multi-genre publisher. I had considered approaching a fourth, but at the fear of spreading myself too thin, I never did. I’m still with three, though one closed to be replaced with another, and I only recently published with one of them and may only continue with two. Any good writer or publisher will say it’s best not to have even the most delicious eggs (even chocolate ones) laid by one hen in one tiny basket.
Publishers go under. Writing is like any business. Sometimes people fall out, there are differences of opinion. Any number of reasons exist as to why a writer may one day wish to part ways with a publisher or vice versa. It’s good to have somewhere to go. Being with various publishers also extends an author’s presence and readership. And let’s not forget, different publishers are open to contrasting products. The best ‘business’ decision is choosing the right story and the correct publisher, matching a suitable pair, and deciding whether to spread the work or take on extra. Writing isn’t all about the story — it’s about seemingly straightforward decisions having consequences. Even the writer can be so immersed in the story to forget that.