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The Changing World and Your Writing

When we closed our offices in March I had no real idea when we would reopen. I certainly didn’t think that by July there would still be no end in sight. While many companies are talking about returning in September, I’m skeptical and, frankly, I’m okay with it.

Years ago, BookEnds set up the necessary tools for remote work. We’ve been on Slack since 2015 and we were one of the first agencies to join Query Manager (about the same time). The transition has been seamless for us and, in fact, has inspired us to update more of our technology and remote access. Most recently we’re moving all of our databases to Airtable.

I love change. Sure it’s scary, and moving the databases to Airtable is a lot of work. James (who is doing most of the work) and I are constantly discussing what we still need, what needs to be updated, and how Airtable can better streamline the way we do things. It’s a lot of work now, but we both know when we’re done, it’s going to make for a lot less work.

In fact, I may have just closed up a 20-year Levenger notebook for the last time.

If there’s one thing we should be learning in this time of remote work it’s that change is inevitable. Ignoring that and avoiding change isn’t an option. Embracing it is what creates success.

Embracing the Future

I firmly believe that those companies who now see the possibilities of remote work and embrace it will retain the best talent and have the most success. Those who think the plan is to return to the way things once were will suffer.

The same holds true of authors. Those authors who can only compare their book to those published 5, 10, or 20 years ago aren’t embracing the future. Those who are still writing the same thing they wrote 5, 10, or 20 years ago aren’t going to grow and succeed. Look at those authors you admire the most, they aren’t writing the same book they first sold on. They’ve evolved as the world has evolved.

In this time when the world is changing so fast and is so different from what it was even six months ago, ask yourself, how your writing business has changed. Ask yourself what you’re doing to evolve with an ever evolving publishing market.

As a writer seeking publication, you are also a business, and the most successful businesses are those ready to roll with the punches, whatever they are.

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14 comments

  1. A lot of people talk about going back to normal. It’s not about going back to how things used to be. The world has changed…we too must change. When things open back up safely, it will be our new beginning…a new normal. This pandemic has been a challenge for many, but there have been blessings too. More family togetherness and also self reflection internally and about the world we live in. Embrace change and new beginnings. It will be an opportunity for meaningful purpose and healing in our communities and our world.

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Jessica. Your comments were spot-on. We can’t control changes in life that come, but we can control our response to them.
    I just finished reading James McBride’s National Book award from 2013 Good Lord Bird and I told my daughters it is an omen. I think your bird on your logo is my Good Lord Bird! I am so thrilled to have found you and that you are reading my full manuscript. Keep up the good work. I’m reading Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe now and love it.
    Also enjoyed the You Tubes you have done.

  3. The world will never be the same place it was a mere 7 months ago. We need to be able to learn and grow from any experience. And this is one heck of an experience!

  4. If we aren’t learning, growing, and evolving, then we’re moving backward. Thank you Jessica for your thoughts-I needed it today! ❤️
    Stay safe!
    Be fierce!

  5. Change is mighty exciting. Glueing your shoes to the floor prevents moving forward and discovery. I have an image in my mind of my Keds filled with overflowing Elmers. Ewww, looking for flip flops. Thanks for your wise words and more than worthy directions.

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