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Write Even When No One is Reading

I started this blog in 2006 back in what was probably the early heyday of blogging. At the time I started I can promise you that no one was reading. I was a lone voice out in the world rambling about query letters, exclusives, and the author-agent relationship.

Not much has changed in 15 years of blogging, well except for my readership.

I could have made a choice back in 2006 to quit. I could have decided that there was no point. That the trolls were too much and the lack of readers didn’t make it worth my time. But I had a mission and it drove me to keep going. I kept writing, choosing to ignore the trolls, the grammar police, and even the other agents who liked to criticize those of us trying new things.

A Sense of Purpose

Luckily I was young, determined, and really enjoyed the blogging ride. It didn’t matter to me that no one was there, what mattered was the sense of purpose I had for starting. At the time I had been attending about eight writers conferences a year, a schedule that was no longer sustainable. The blog was my answer to not being at conferences. It allowed me to continue to educate and empower authors as well as dispel the myths I saw that were hurting so many.

That mission drove me to keep going. It drove the blog for 15+ years and the outgrowth of our YouTube channel which now boasts nearly 10,000 subscribers.

If I had quit, if the blog had stopped, if YouTube had never happened, someone else would surely have picked up the baton. In your world it wouldn’t have likely been a loss. In mine it might have. I have gained so much from my readers and even my critics. And those trolls, they’ve given me some fantastic laughs.

A Lesson Learned

The lesson learned from this is that if you decide to quit writing now because no one is reading or requesting your book, you only hurt yourself.

The world will never know what they lost, just as if I had quit blogging it wouldn’t have really made a difference to you. If you never knew I existed, you wouldn’t know what you were missing. But I kept going. I had something to say and I was going to say it. I’d like to think this blog and our YouTube have and are making a difference. If not for you, I can definitely say they have for me, and for both I am grateful.

So no matter how discouraged you get on your writing journey let me tell you, it matters that you keep going. If not for others, for yourself.

Category: Blog

7 comments

  1. Thank you for your encouragement. Sometimes I want to quit, not because of my books, but because of the query letter. My books are all written out, but I am so confused on how to write a query, There are so many examples, and each one says it is the perfect one. I will just keep trying.
    Again, thank you.
    Kent

    1. I feel your pain, Kent! Much of the advice out there is contradictory or outdated. I really do feel that the Bookends Vlog takes a lot of the mystery and angst out of query crafting – plus its up to date! If you don’t follow them on YouTube, I highly recommend it!

  2. I love your positivity. Thank you for always saying just what people (I ;)) need to hear. The writing community is very lucky you didn’t give up!

  3. *nods gravely in agreement*

    I sincerely believe there will come a day when what I write will be All The Rage, and if I keep writing until then, I won’t have to scramble as fast to give the market what it demands. (That’s my affirmation, and I’m sticking to it! 🙂 )

  4. THANK YOU, Jessica! This is a message ALL writers need to hear–OVER AND OVER AGAIN! I am keeping this one on “speed dial” for future inspiration to KEEP ON WRITING ON!!! Your blog and YouTube channel have been educating and motivating me as I start out on my publishing journey. THANK YOU and James, and ALL of Bookends. You REALLY are making a difference!!!

  5. Jessica,
    Your genuine concern for authors really inspires me. I watch the Bookends YouTube channel regularly and am now reading the blog. Thank you for all you do for authors and thank you for not giving up!

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