Monday, January 24, 2011

Complain or Adapt?

My car was in for repairs recently. Rattles aren't the end of the world, but a rattle in a new car is frustrating, especially when the dealer thinks they have it fixed, then it returns. So this time they gave me a loaner car and kept mine for a couple of weeks. During that time, I found myself reaching for the garage door opener and finding it somewhere else, looking for an emergency brake that was in a different place, and wishing for my electronically controlled seat so I could elevate my vertically-challenged body a bit higher while steering. But it wasn't long before I'd adapted. Now I have my car back, the rattle is gone, and I'm going through a minor bit of adaptation getting used to my usual routine again.

Life is full of situations that require us to adapt. Kay and I kid that when we find a TV program we like, the networks take it off the air. When we discover a restaurant of which we're fond, it closes. But we adapt. We find new options. Sometimes adaptation takes the form of a work-around. Sometimes it means doing something entirely different. But we either spend our time complaining or we adapt. That's the way life is.

Writers argue back and forth about whether e-readers will eventually replace conventional books, and if they do, what that might do to contracts, royalties, and the opportunity to get published. I've learned that my arguing the subject won't change it. The Kindle was one of the most-given Christmas gifts this year, and the Nook wasn't far behind. And almost all those devices were given with one or more books already loaded onto them. To me, that seems good.

But good or bad, it does me no good to complain, argue, prophesy, or harangue. I'm just going to keep writing, and try to adapt to the changing marketplace as I go along. Surely it can't be any harder than adapting to a different car for two weeks.

7 comments:

Keli Gwyn said...

I used to think I'd never warm to the idea of an e-reader, but after downloading an agency mate's book using Kindle for Mac recently and seeing how easy it was, I found myself wavering. Of course, given the size of my TBR mountain, I don't feel I can justify the purchase just yet. I need to do some reading of those print books first, but when I finish them, I might get a Kindle after all.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I could say "ditto" to Keli's comment, right down to my feelings about e-readers, downloading Kindle for Mac recently, wavering, but not being able to justify the purchase when I look at my TBR pile! The only difference is that even when I finish reading that pile I still won't be able to justify the expense. The day may come, but not for a while. I do agree, however, that adapting to the marketplace is a necessity for authors. We all have opinions but our best option is to discuss publication options with our agents when that time comes.

Katie Ganshert said...

I could also say ditto! But I got my Kindle a year ago and I'm in love with it. I'm a-okay with ereaders and ebooks. I just want to write and I want readers to read. However that happens doesn't matter so much.

Richard Mabry said...

Keli, Carol, and Katie--Sorry to be late getting back to acknowledge your comments. Life's been hectic lately--but I've decided to adapt instead of complain.

As always, thanks for dropping by.

Erin MacPherson said...

This is a really good post! I tend to have a hard time adapting-- I'm very type A-- and this is a good reminder that sometimes adapting is a good thing. Hope all is well Dr. Mabry!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Erin. All is reasonably well except that the rattle in my car is back, so I'm probably going to have to adapt to a loaner car for a few days again.
On the other hand, Kay dragged me out to look at e-readers this week, and doggoned if I wasn't really taken with the Kindle. Maybe I'll have to adapt to reading on one.

Erin MacPherson said...

This is a really good post! I tend to have a hard time adapting-- I'm very type A-- and this is a good reminder that sometimes adapting is a good thing. Hope all is well Dr. Mabry!