Pub Rants

Another Pearl of Wisdom?

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STATUS: Had a terrific day snowshoeing in fresh powder since it snowed some last night.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? No music sadly.

I tend to think deep thoughts when snowshoeing–or maybe not so deep and I’ll let you be the judge.

Obviously there are a lot of people who want to be published authors and statistically, not all will become so.

Chances are good that a good portion of those people who would love to embrace this dream will not have the perseverance or the talent to make it.

Statistically we know this is true but when writing, you have to be in touch with your heart–not the logic of your brain that wants to weigh you down with statistical fact.

You may never be published but you need to live your life with the thought that you will. And ultimately, you have to write for the personal joy of it (not because you have to be published) because the sacrifice you make (the price you pay if you will) would not be worth it.

Gotta love the peace and quiet of Winter Park for getting one to a place of good thinking.

18 Responses

  1. Tia said:

    I figure if nothing else, my writing will keep my brain sharp and entertain those friends of mine who enjoy my writing. I do it because I enjoy it. Many painters never sell any of their art. The same must be said of writers, I suppose.

  2. Kristin said:

    I guess I’ve never seen my writing as a sacrifice or such hard work that I would give it up. I love writing even when it’s hard, even when I get stuck in my story and can’t move ahead, even when I can’t type more than a few sentences on any given day.

    It still is not a chore or “work” in the traditional sense. It’s pure enjoyment, a release of creativity, a sense of accomplishment…like no other work I’ve ever done. 🙂

  3. Kimber An said:

    Thank you so much for trying to encourage us.

    Navigating the publication maze is mind-boggling. Every agent wants something different and the market changes daily. We’re told to persevere, but we’re told not to obsess. If someone could tell us where the magical line between kicking-a-dead-horse and healthy-sticking-it-out lies, it would help tremendously. But, I realize that’s impossible.

  4. Daryl Andrews said:


    At the end of the day the only person that can see the place or idea, whether a writer or an architect, is the one who imagined it in the first place.

    Whether it becomes a reality is driven by the savage desire to make the end result a living breathing thing.

    Sadly, most people won’t take that step down into the valley in order to begin the ascent up the other side to the mountaintop.

  5. r louis scott said:

    I have come to the conclusion that the possibility of being published is icing on the cake. I have a cadre of alpha readers that enjoy what I write, and another group of beta readers that seem to take a certain amount of pleasure from the edited “final” versions.

    Me? I get a great deal of personal pleasure from creating a good story. When the first novel is complete I’ll shop it around and see what happens. But I won’t obsess about it. At least that’s what I tell myself…

  6. Kanani said:

    I noticed that there are an awful lot of people who perceive everything as a ‘problem’ when it comes to writing. They over-think everything, the result is that their prose comes out chunky or they never ever get to the point or they miss opportunities to explore further.

    Writing has to be from the heart. When there’s joy and conviction on the page, it shows.

  7. Patrick McNamara said:

    I would be inclined to disagree, at least in part.
    With E-Books and POD today any writer can be published, even though they may not make any money from the book.

    The part I’m inclined to agree with is the perseverence. Obviously someone who only writes one manuscript is going to have a much harder time than someone who writes ten. But for those who take a realistic approach to writing, with the exception of those lacking sufficient literary communication skills, it is possible to see paid publication. It’s just that many aren’t willing to put the hard work in and would rather believe there is some magic to success. It is a business and business is work.

  8. leann said:

    Writing for me is such therapy. I can’t imagine life without being able to plug into my blog and organize my thoughts onto “paper”. It’s how I figure out what’s going on in my dreams, deal with frustrations at work or even at home, and how I form my dreams into tangible goals. Sure I want to be published some day…but it won’t be the end of the world if nobody ever wants to read my stuff!

  9. Poor Struggler said:

    I feel differently than the other posters here. I write because I want my stuff to be read, not to sit in a drawer. I want it read and enjoyed by many people, strangers, people willing to take a chance on it and pay for the book. Not just friends and family…that’s why I write letters.

    If I were never published, I wouldn’t give writing up entirely, but I certainly wouldn’t work on a novel anymore. I’d put the effort into writing letters, memories of my family, and perhaps little stories for my children. For me, it would be too heartbreaking to write novel after novel, only to have them sit largely unread.

  10. The Anti-Wife said:

    When you’re writing a memoir, unless you’re a celebrity the chances of it being published are slim. I would love to believe my life as lived and written is interesting enough to attract a deal. However, the act of writing it all down has been cathartic, so if it gets published or not it’s been a journey well worth taking.

  11. johnny ray said:

    I have to tell you about a skiing story that happened to me in Winter Park. This is a copy of the article I wrote.

    MY TIME – SKIING NIGHTMARE With crisp clean mountain air blowing through your air as you race down the mountain, you hit every bump and get all of the air you can. Today is one of those special days you wait on all year .The snow feels great! Moreover, at the bottom of the hill is a very special treat you look for all of the way down the mountain. It has obtain the name of the hot dog stand because it is right in front of the long line getting on to the quad going back up the mountain. This is where everyone wants to be a pro and show their stuff by getting air born from a small but impressive jump.

    Stopping on the hill above the jump, we plan our attack. My friends made some impressive runs and great jumps showing their talents to the group below. Now, it was time. The moment I had been waiting for. The moment of glory so to speak. Excitingly, the plan was set and I was off. The mistake of a life time was about to happen. .

    Picking up speed on the approach, there was something I noticed very unusual. There was the skier slowly moving to the right across the trail. This was a very large person and skiing very slowly. Surely, I thought to myself, this person will not be so stupid as to pull in the way of the jump. Getting into position and into the dip leading to the jump I had forgotten about that person totally. With total concentration on making the jump and showing off, I get the bump and was air born.

    Then, there she was – straight in front of the jump! All I could do was throw my skis out wide and snatch her 200 plus pounds off the ground as I tried to get my skis back on the ground. She went from 5 miles per hour to around 35 in a heart beat. She let out a yell that would scare off half of the cougars in Colorado. I yelled back, “I have you.” In as soon as it happened, it was over. On the other hand, was it! There on the back of her jacket were the words – BLIND SKIER. What have I done! It appears she had gotten separated from her guide and she had wondered off into the path of the jump. I apologized to her and headed for my friends. They were laughing so hard it was not even funny. The kidding I received was unrelenting all of the way up the hill.

    Then trying to make things feel better, I will never for get what one of my friends said to me on the way up the lift. “Look at this way; at least she can’t identify you.”

  12. Anonymous said:

    It depends upon what you write, but there are places where you can have your story read, even though you will never make any money from it. If you write erotica, in particular, there are sites where your story will get hundreds to thousands of hits. I assume there are other free story sites devoted to non-erotic lit that also have a good readership. My point is that you don’t have to either be published or have a manuscript sit in a box. There are other good choices.

  13. Deb said:

    Daryl, you said it right.

    There is one additional fact to ponder, however: not much grows on mountaintops. The air is too thin and it doesn’t get much warmth plants (stories?) need in order to grow.

    The valleys — now that’s where the nutrients are. There, the nights are cool and the days are warm. That’s where the growth takes place.

  14. julia said:

    Out first week at film school, we were told that our two classes would turn into a single class by fourth year. Why? Do we get weeded out, we wondered? Yes, our professor said, but not by the faculty. You weed yourselves out. Everyone who got into the program had ability and passion, but the determining factor was actually the never-surrender factor. This applies to every art form. The odds narrow for every person who has put in the time refining his or her craft. By that time, after a few misses, people start to re-evaluate if the pay-off doesn’t come. For those who can’t stop themselves from writing, eventually if you’re one of the ones who don’t give up, your odds become better and better. Because over those years you have refined your craft, and your writing has become better and better.

  15. Anonymous said:

    No one can tell you to stop writing. There are too many nay-sayers in this game, and I question the motives of those who do. Realism aside (an a hearty dose of reality can and should come from friends, relatives and conscientious readers– those should be the folks who tell you if you have enough talent to pursue publication, before you approach an agent), you need to be able to brush aside every doom&gloom addict you come across.

    EVERY MIDLIST ARTIST WILL TELL EVERY STRUGGLING ARTIST THEY MEET HOW MUCH IT SUCKED TO GET WHERE THEY ARE. They’ll say the business sucks, and there’s no money in it. They’ll whine about publishers and agents and the cost of writing materials.

    Blow off “pearls of wisdom” like this. There is enough negativity in this posting to discourage some. Writing is a sacrifice, and it’s hard. Keep doing it, well and better, and eventually you’ll hit something, somewhere. Ignore those who have something to lose in YOU being published. That’s agents and published writers, baby. Kristin herself has admitted that shelf space is limited, and that means you’re competing for that spot- with her established clients and everyone else who’s ever published a book and wants to publish another.

  16. Anonymous said:

    “I feel differently than the other posters here. I write because I want my stuff to be read”

    You’re just the only one being honest with yourself. I suspect most of the people talking about how they don’t care about being published 1) haven’t been yet and 2) are just at the beginning of trying to get an agent.

    “For me, it would be too heartbreaking to write novel after novel, only to have them sit largely unread.”

    So, what, if your first novel doesn’t sell (they usually don’t), you’ll stop writing novels? Or will you stop after the third, or the sixth?

    It’s funny to me how many people truly don’t get how difficult it is to get published. Even if you collect scads of “I liked this” and “you’re talented” comments in the journey. Even if you have an agent.

    Unless you keep writing and trying with new books, there’s no hope. I’m proof, having stopped.

    “Everyone who got into the program had ability and passion, but the determining factor was actually the never-surrender factor. This applies to every art form.”

    This is very true also. I knew a lot of extremely talented actors in college. Some were already stars. Some have become stars. But many more chose different paths because they didn’t want to struggle, and jobs that many consider tough are infinitely easier than being an artist.