Common Concerns

I’ve been having trouble coming up with a topic to blog about. No, that’s not true. I’ve had plenty of ideas. I thought about blogging about agents—but then I realized I’ve done that several times (Agents1Agents2 ,). Then I decided I’d write about titles. Oops, done that. (Titles Blog 1, Titles Blog2  ) Goal setting? Not only have I done that (   Goals Blog 1 and Goals2 ), others are currently doing it.

Finally, I decided to write about why I picked those topics at this time.


A writer contacted me about an agent. Privately we shared information regarding our experiences. I’ve always told writers to check Writers Beware( Writers Beware re Agents )but problems with agents and publishers aren’t always reported. When considering a publisher or an agent, a free-lance editor, or a cover designer, we need to share information, if not publically, privately. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK OTHER WRITERS.


At a meeting that I recently attended, a writer shared her concern about the title for her work-in-progress. The advice from the group was that she shouldn’t worry about the title at this stage, that something in the story would probably suggest a title before she was ready to submit it to anyone. I agree. I have learned to look at my story titles as temporary working titles. For years, when I was published by Harlequin and Silhouette my submitted titles were always changed. The reason given was usually that marketing thought the new title would do better than what I’d picked. (A couple times I think marketing was crazy and my sales—or rather lack of—confirmed that.)

I’ve now learned to at least check and see how many other books are listed on Amazon with the title I think I want to use and who wrote those books. Titles may not be copyrighted, but I don’t want someone searching for my book and ending up with another author’s book. DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH A TITLE.


This is the time of the year when we tend to set goals. We see January as a new start. That’s good. But remember to set realistic goals. Small steps that you can achieve. DON’T SET YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE.

In the comments section below, tell me one (1) thing you think you’ll achieve in 2017. Just one thing. One step.

My goal for 2017—get 80k words written for my second Mary Harrington book. I’m pretty sure I can do that. I hope I can accomplish more than that, but it’s a first step.
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14 Responses to Common Concerns

  1. Hi Maris,

    I do want to write a new mystery novel in the coming year. I also want to find either an agent or publisher for a completed historical romance and several children’s picture books I’ve written. These are my current goals.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Good luck on both of those projects, Jacquie. Actually, I see three goals for you since most agents or publishers who would handle a historical romance wouldn’t be handling children’s picture book. You’re going to be busy.

  2. It is difficult to come up with new, exciting content after blogging for so many years!

    I feel your pain LOL

    Good luck and God’s blessings, Maris

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Pamela. You write even more blogs than I do, so I’m sure you have run into this problem, too. You always seem to have something of interest on your site. May we both be blessed with some new insights.

  3. Melissa Keir says:

    Wonderful review of some important topics!

  4. Nan Lundeen says:

    Maris,sometimes it’s just important to write whatever pops into your mind because reading your blog & comments helps indie writers like me feel less alone. Solitude is vital to writing but so is camaraderie.I’m in two writing groups, so 3 times a month I do enjoy friendships with other writers. Thanks for your good work & for sharing!

    • Maris Soule says:

      Nan, thanks so much for your comment. I guess my fear is that I’ll start repeating myself, but you’re right, simply sharing problems and ideas is important because those who aren’t writers don’t understand. We need our solitude, but we also need the mental stimulation we get from being around (talking to and listening to) others.

  5. Lucy Kubash says:

    After writing the Pet Corner column for nearly 15 years, I’m really stuck for new topics. Always feel like I’m writing about the same thing, and I probably am!
    This year’s goals: finish current work in progress and find a publisher for my completed ms.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Lucy, I didn’t realize you’d been writing that column for that many years. I know I’ve often found the information helpful. I guess what we both need to do is find new ways to say the same old thing. Here’s hoping you get that completed ms accepted soon. I want to read it.

  6. Gerry. K. says:

    Keep going Maris, loved, loved Mary Harrington …

  7. Paula says:

    One reason to keep writing about the same topics, besides coming from another angle, is for those new subscribers to your blog. Don’t forget them!
    I have written on my 2017 goal sheet to complete the devotions needed to complete the devotional about living with mental illness.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Good goal, Paula. You have a lot to offer others, so get those devotions written. And, you’re right, I need to look at some of the topics I’ve covered in the past and find new ways of presenting the information. I know I need to hear something over and over before it finally sinks in.