The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Robert Burns “To a Mouse”
The new year is upon us, plans are made in the wistful hope that we shall succeed in being better, stronger, and healthier than we were on the last trip around the sun. The spirit is willing, but the flesh pays the fare.
House of Honor Books published twelve books in 2022. We turned a small profit. To do better this year is not impossible, but what with inflation and all, the cost of success has gone up. Three days after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in the midst of World War II, he told his cabinet that he had nothing to offer their cause but “blood, toil, tears, and sweat”. Strangely enough, those are the key ingredients of success.
Those who have held in their hands a book with their name on the cover know from experience that it is true. We all imagine our tale, barely touched by editorial hands, launching to critical acclaim and throngs rushing to snatch it from shelves. Little did we suspect in the beginning that we would be told to punctuate, mind the rules of grammar and be consistent with our point of view.
Had we known that we would have to become cheerleaders, salesmen, promoters, as well as authors, we might have reconsidered what we were doing. Writing is work. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, but we don’t learn that until we are caught up in it—by then it’s too late.
We are left wondering where all the glamor went. So, what do we do? Turn the page and start the next chapter. We make new plans, write new books, get more inventive about promotion and do it even better this year.
That our plans go awry is not such a bad thing. After all the road to hell is paved with good intentions, or so they say. Sometimes fate, destiny, or Providence have a better plan.
At House of Honor Books, we have at least twelve books in the plans for 2023. I think we will exceed that number. As we turn the page to the new year, a vision of continued success is on the rise. Here’s to all the readers, authors, editors, designers, narrators, and book builders, may your plans be smaller than your accomplishments.
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain For promis'd joy.