• Courtney Kirschaum

How your success can ruin you (and how to prevent it)

Did you know you can listen to audiobooks for free on Youtube?

You can. Old stuff mostly. Completely free. No commercials.

That's how I stumbled across Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.

"These are perfect!" I thought.

You see, I use these books as sleeping pills.

Start one and let it drone on until... Zzzzzz

Except that Rice's books turned out to be pretty good. Guess that's why they became insanely popular.

At first, I happily anticipated hearing more each night.

Then another feeling emerged: annoyance.

"Dammit! You already told us this five chapters ago! Get on with it!" I'd say.

Then the memory came back.

It was decades ago. I'd seen an "Interview with Anne Rice" when she was new to fame.

They asked her if it was true she wouldn't let anyone edit her books.

Rice said it was true and justified this exception saying, "I know my audience."

After all, the Vampire Chronicles were selling and making lots of people rich.

Rice had power enough so no one could make her yield to the red editing pen.

Remembering this decades later, I thought:

"You were wrong! Stop describing this guy's violin playing for five pages for the third time in the same book and tell us what happened next!"

A little success had given her the power to stop a perfectly natural part of the process.

One night, I scrolled downing the YouTube comments where someone had written, "I love these books, but she does tend to go on and on..."

It's normal to fall in love with your first draft or even your fifth one.

But it can be costly, too. We all need an editor.

If you think you could use one, hit me up. ( I don't bite ;-)



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