Monday, May 14, 2007

Romance Jeopardy and Survivor

by Maggie Toussaint

Many of you are probably familiar with the CBS television show Survivor. A few may have heard about the game of Romance Jeopardy at the Washington Romance Writers yearly Retreat, a game where all the material is about Romance publishing. At the start of the yearly game of Romance Jeopardy, everyone must repeat the most important rule of all: this game is not fair! These two games are key elements in my blog today.

We just concluded another season of Survivor, and the several players' integrity were severely tested. One popular player got a raw deal when someone he'd formed an agreement with shafted him. He was voted off and the others went on to the million dollar round. Later it was determined that almost everyone on the jury would have voted for this person. (The person who'd held onto the immunity received no votes in the final round, the woman who couldn't swim received no votes, and the other survivor won.)

What's that got to do with publishing and writing? The publishing business is a game of Outlast, Outwit, and Outplay, just like the game of Survivor. And, like Romance Jeopardy, publishing is often not fair.

Here at The Wild Rose Press, we're very supportive of each other's success, but that isn't typical of the industry as a whole. I've seen critique groups splinter when one person gets a contract and others don't. I've seen people abandon close friends in search of transient friends who could help them get to the top.

I know writers who've had successful careers derailed through no fault of their own. I've seen publishing houses fold (not this one!). I've seen personal problems overcome a writer's creativity. I've seen poor health cripple a writer's spirit.

Whatever you're after in your publishing career, it pays to know who you are and what you hope to accomplish. In this profession, there are lots of hard knocks. Find your inner core of strength and shore it up. That way, when others think they will outwit, outplay, or outlast you, they will be the ones who are out maneuvered.

Know who you are. No one can take that from you.

Maggie Toussaint
House Of Lies, ISBN 1601540310


Marianne Arkins said...

Maggie, what a great post! I found myself nodding the entire time. Thanks!

Allie Boniface said...

I agree - great post!

Maggie Toussaint said...

Thanks for the helpful feedback ladies!