Authors, poets and writers walk a tight rope.

On one hand, we want to show off our work and see if it’s any good. We want to market ourselves and our primary projects.

Some authors gamble and publish their pieces online. Some succeed with e-books or as self-published works while others do not. Whether those books succeed or not, a thought process was behind them. I want to put my work out there.

Which brings us to why the rope is tight … Artists, of all kinds, value their work. Many do not want to just put out. Your work is better than that. Mine is better than that.

The other railroad track connecting to the above idea is copyrighting. While we want to establish relationships with other talented authors and writers, we do not want people stealing our ideas.

A friend of mine called me earlier this week, and said she was nervous someone was stealing her idea for her book. This happened while she was on a research trip. I informed her no one could take her story. She was just having a writer freak out party in her head.

It happens to all of us.

So what do you do?

Try to publish pieces in journals connected to your work.

It’s old-fashioned, but I have been fortunate enough to have three pieces connected to Sons of the Edisto published. It took time. I had to research, write cover letters, edit and find journals that would publish historical fiction. Thank you, Duotrope. (It now costs five dollars a month, but it is a fantastic tool for writers.)

Those publications meant: Someone likes my story. They actually like my story.

Don’t let it go to your head too much. You still have all that editing, agent and publishing research work to do.

Share what is or what inspired your work.

I have tried to do this before on my blog by writing parts based on my prescripts for Sons of the Edisto. The prescripts are seven back stories I wrote about the families in Sons of the Edisto. I wrote a mini-series based on my bad guy’s family The Bannister Histories.

Why did I stop?

I just did not have time to write the little stories when I was trying to complete Sons of the Edisto, begin Elliot McSwean, be a mom, work and feed my family of six.

There is always a way if there is the will.

Play with Friends.    

Now I will take the concept of sharing with friends and apply it to parts I can share of Sons of the Edisto. There are multiple aspects from characters, to research, editing tools I used, geography, what inspired the book and photographs.

I promise I won’t go history professor on you.

I hope to see you next week for Legends of the Edisto.



  1. I was listening to a panel at a crime writing festival last month and an author on there said your work is automatically copyrighted but your ideas are not. But that is not a problem because we all write so differently. If I told you to write a story about a young wizard with a scar on his head who went to wizarding school and had an nemesis who had killed his parents, each one of you would write it differently.

    I get that. I hope your friend can stop worrying. She has her own style and unique voice. She needs to keep that strong.

    1. Rebecca, thank you for your reply. I appreciate the comment. My friends is a talented writer, and has a gift to mix a poetic voice into her non-fiction and observations.

      Diagnosed with OCD in my late teens, I learned how to adjust my paranoia as related to writing so I could handle different situations such as rejection or copyright law. It is an ongoing lesson. 🙂

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