Georgia Beers Guest Blog
May 20, 2011
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Georgia Beers is one of the most popular, best-selling authors in lesbian fiction today, and with good reason. Beers knows her stuff, and I am thrilled to have her here to share some of her skills with us. From Thy Neighbor’s Wife, my personal favorite, to Fresh Tracks, a Lambda award winner,to Starting from Scratch, a finalist for this year’s Lambda, Beers has consistently brought us entertaining fiction with genuine characters and trademark humor.
Having just celebrated a birthday – and unfortunately, the numbers are going up rather than down no matter how hard I wish otherwise – I have found myself reflecting on my writing career so far. I have some things in the hopper, several new ideas at once (which doesn’t happen often), and a third floor writing studio I’m working on, so being a writer has been taking up a lot of space in the forefront of my mind lately.
I’ve been a published author for over ten years now (holy crap) and I thought it might be fun to make a list of the things I’ve learned so far. Some may help you. Some may not. Some may make you laugh, roll your eyes, or nod in agreement. Whatever your reaction, here are the lessons I’ve learned in the first decade of being a writer, in no particular order:
You will always need an editor. Always. There are no two ways about this. I don’t care if you’ve been writing for fifty years. There will always be plot holes you can’t see. There will always be the possibility that you love your characters so much you haven’t noticed the unrealistic personalities you’ve given them. There will always be typos. There will always be overused words or phrases. And if you’re me, there will always be the inability to use ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ the right way.
You will never please everybody. Somebody will always hate your book. Whether they’re jealous because you can write and they can’t or they harbor some grudge against you or your work is just not their cup of tea, somebody will always give you a crappy review somewhere on the internet. Do what I do if you’re sensitive about such things: avoid reviews like the plague. If there’s a glowing one somewhere, somebody who loves you will find it and forward it to you.
The next idea will always come. This is one that I have an especially hard time with. When I finish a book, I immediately start to worry about never having another good idea. Ever. Trust me, you may be drawing a blank in the awesome new story department, but don’t fret. You are not a one-trick pony. You are not a fluke. Just relax. It’ll come. It always does. I promise.