CODE OF CONDUCT

After reading an article by Wendy Coakley-Thompson, one of my author colleagues and Sorors, I was speechless and appalled at the behavior displayed by those who share the same title as me—author. Hence, it reminded me of an article I wrote a few months back. Maybe now is a good time to revisit the context of that message.

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Blessed is the author who enjoys the present. Yesterday is gone. We can’t change the mistakes of the past, but we can learn from them. And since we don’t know what the future holds, all we can do is step out on faith. Today is an author’s best shot at happiness. Learn to enjoy the experience of the story you’re currently writing.

Blessed is the author who understands there are forces beyond their control, for they shall be comforted from the story that pours from their soul. There are so many things an author can’t control. From the distribution of their books, to the reviews they receive, down to the editors assigned to them are only a few examples of forces outside of an author’s control. But there is one thing an author has complete autonomy over — the story they write.

Blessed is the author who is meek, for jealously will never disrupt their career. Lunacy can overrule lucidity when authors begin to envy the success of a fellow author. Folks, it’s time to cease the hating. Imagine what could happen if authors took the time they spend envying someone else’s good fortunate and channel it into writing a better story. Maybe, just maybe they’d achieve the same, if not greater success, for themselves.

Blessed is the author who hungers and thirsts for knowledge, for they are knowledgeable of what’s going on the publishing industry. You’d never consider a cross-country trip without planning the best route to take, right? Well, the same holds true for an author’s career. How can authors aim for success if they don’t know what direction to take? Forget the negative happenings in the publishing industry, but stay in the know. Knowledge is the only guide that will get us from point A to point B.

Blessed is the author who is merciful, for they shall reach out to fellow authors. This can be viewed through two different prisms. First, interact with other published authors. Writing can be a lonely world and it’s good to know there’s someone else in the same situation you’re in. Secondly, remember the ‘The Golden Rule’. Before you signed that first contract, you no doubt reached out to someone for help, right? Well, that act of kindness may not be returned to the same person who helped you, but it certainly can be bestowed upon the next rising star coming behind you.

Blessed is the author who is thankful, for they could be without a contract. As an author, the desire to write is like marrow in the bone. There’s no peace, no sense of fulfillment until the story that swirls in your head day after day is finally on paper. Appreciate the marvelous gift you’ve been given and write.

Blessed is the author who doesn’t neglect family and friends for the sake of writing. No book is worth sacrificing the relationship you have with your spouse, children, significant other or anyone else who is important in your life. Now if you can’t stand them, well that’s another story all together. . .

Blessed is the author who continues to write despite the circumstances in their lives, for eventually their story will be published. Times are tough in the publishing industry? Write! Your personal life is going to hell faster than a jet? Write! You can’t find an agent? Write! Your manuscript is still orphaned? Write! Your book finally sold? Keep writing!

Until next time – stay well and be blessed!