The Wisdom of Mickey Rivers applied to Writing and Publishing

“Ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you got control over, ‘cause if you got control over ‘em, ain’t no sense worryin’. And ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you don’t got control over, ‘cause if you don’t got control over ‘em, ain’t no sense worryin’.”
    —Mickey Rivers (former NY Yankees baseball player - and author of "Ain’t No Sense Worryin")

Aside from the fact that this is just great advice for any of us to live by, it’s well worth thinking about how baseball player Mick the Quick’s great common sense approach to life applies specifically to writing and publishing.

What do we control?  For writers, it’s the books you write and for publishers, it’s the books we publish. For both, we also control what we say and do to support the books when we are trying to persuade readers to give us some of their time and attention.

In other words, we only control the work we do ourselves.  Don’t worry about anything else, just do the best work we can.  Why spend our valuable time and energy worrying about the so many things we can’t control? 

Bookstores are closing and shelf space for books is declining. More people are writing more books than ever before in history.  Books have to compete with online reading, billions of YouTube videos, mindless web surfing, oceans of emails, RSS feeds, apps, movies, games, blogs, texts, tweets and oh yeah, life itself.  

Finding readers who will pay attention to us is harder than ever.  Whatever happened to book reviews?  They’ve been replaced by reader comments, discussion groups, and comments to blog posts.  Just when we thought something new and different had come along, Amazon buys Goodreads.  

What, me worry?

Seriously, MIckey Rivers is right.  Writers write.  Publishers publish.  Readers?  Ain’t no sense worrying about readers - bless them - we can’t control ‘em.

Posted by David Wilk on 04/02 at 04:13 AM
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