Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Self-Publishing: Cleaning Out

I'm doing some necessary cleaning out and decluttering of my house, especially my office. I realized the time had come to part with my stacks of writing magazines. I have Romance Writers Reports (the monthly Romance Writers of America magazine) and Writer's Digests and some script writing magazines that go back about 15 years.

I tend to hold on to things, long past when I should. Part of that comes from being too busy to sort through and organize things that aren't important. But the bigger part is that I always think I'll need them again. The writing magazines are full of great articles, and if I wanted to reread any, there they are. If I need to write a blog post or and article, I have a lot of information available.


I haven't opened one of those magazines since I originally read them.

Today it occurred to me that that two thirds of the information in those magazines is out-dated or not pertinent to my current writing career. Basically, the only information that's still useful is the craft information.

The publishing world has changed so much that it's important to keep current, not stay bogged down in old thinking. Lots of previous advice no longer works any more, or it might work if you want a traditional publishing career, but not for self-publishing. (Especially not in this digital world of ours.)

I admit I had a pang parting with those stacks. One or two headlines caught my eye, and I set that magazine aside to reread. I didn't even take the time to sort through the RWR reports that had my Golden Heart finaling/winning announcements. I knew if I stopped my momentum, most of those magazines would find their way back to the selves. (Although they might be less dusty.)

I also included a few of my Writer's Guides. For example: I don't need 2007's. Actually, I don't need 2012's, either. Not that I have it. I don't even have time to write my newsletter, and barely blog. So I'm not going to search the pages of a writer's guide to find possible places to submit an article. Plus, I've let go of the dream of writing articles for magazines. Right now, I'm focused on my books. If I want to write for magazines in the future, I'll study whatever version of Writer's Guide exists then. (Probably online.)

I also tossed some of my college statistics books. If I haven't done any statistical research by now, it's not going to happen in my future. Not to mention, I couldn't do a statistic to save my life. I barely scraped by in those classes, anyway.

So I ended up with four bags to donate to the library for their used book/magazine sale. Hopefully, someone else can put them to use.

One of these days, I'm going to tackle the shelf of how-do writing books. (Most of which I've never read, or only skimmed.) But not today.

Sooooo, in keeping with your new ideas of your writing career, do you have some culling to do of your bookshelves?


  1. I have a box full of RWA, RT and other writing magazines that I have kept since I started getting them. I do clean out books every few months and give them away or donate them.

  2. Glancing over my shoulder at my sagging bookshelf now--something to do instead of income taxes. And past time.

  3. Did some of that the first of this year. I have a tote full of RWR's to take to the library and I haven't looked at any of this year's issues. Plus I have a box of books and more I need to get rid of. I will definitely keep all my research books though.

  4. Part of the reason for cleaning out was because my stack of research books keeps growing!

  5. What is this "culling" of which you speak?

  6. Janus, I mean going through and getting rid of the unnecessary.

  7. I love de-cluttering. It's gives me a nice little high. I've started taking my writing magazines to a writer's group I belong to and letting members who might not belong to the same organizations (RWA for example) take them.

  8. That's a good idea, Clover. I'll keep that in mind.