I recently came across this quote: “Literature was formerly an art and finance a trade; today it is the reverse.” It’s a sentiment I keep hearing and certainly a reality in our current economic crisis, but this quote is by Joseph Roux, a French artist who lived in the 1700s. So it’s really hard to believe all the doom and gloom in publishing (and the economy for that matter) if people were saying the same things 200 years ago. It’s also hard to believe the prognostications by agents and editors that it’s a Great! Time! to be a Writer! And Things! are Looking! Up!
Drama is great for storytelling and for getting attention on a corner with your cardboard sign, but the truth is that neither the doomsayers nor the crazily hopeful are correct. It’s just a regular time in publishing and the economy. So don’t get swept up in either tide. The tide will knock you off your feet. And you need those feet planted firmly on the ground if you’re going to get your work done.
Now is the time to hunker down and do your best work, the same as it always has been.