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gothicangel
07-22-2011, 01:56 AM
From an interview in this month's Writers' Forum [UK.]


'It is difficult but it's always been difficult, and a lot of aspiring writers think that it's a question of being sprinkled with fairy dust, whereas it's actually mostly hard work and application and the ability to withstand rejection and keep plugging away.'

'Just go into any bookstore and look at all those books - every single one of them unknown writers was unknown when they started out. Half a million books get published every year so it's not that remarkable a thing - it's a question of persevering. Though if you do fail again and again you do have to ask yourself, is this the right line of work for me?

'You have to be able to take rejection without taking it personally,' he continues. 'At first it is natural to feel slightly crushed and the odds are stacked against you. But I don't think publishing is stacked against you any more than life is generally. Assuming you have some talent and a real story to tell then thinks will come good for you.'

Jamesaritchie
07-22-2011, 03:57 AM
Sure. Pro writers and editors keep saying all this over and over, but few seem to believe it.

seun
07-22-2011, 01:00 PM
'It is difficult but it's always been difficult, and a lot of aspiring writers think that it's a question of being sprinkled with fairy dust, whereas it's actually mostly hard work and application and the ability to withstand rejection and keep plugging away.'

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I think part of the reason people don't realise how much work is involved comes from things like X Factor or whatever reality TV contest Simon Cowell is pimping at the moment. People watch contestants sing a few songs and achieve a noticeable degree of fame without much visible work. Even if they don't win the contest, they still get a record deal if only for a short time. They still achieve without much obvious effort.

That way of thinking translates to I can write a book without taking into consideration the amount of work involved. After all, if someone can be famous for singing a few songs, then why not write a book and be famous that way?

gothicangel
07-22-2011, 01:06 PM
At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, I think part of the reason people don't realise how much work is involved comes from things like X Factor or whatever reality TV contest Simon Cowell is pimping at the moment. People watch contestants sing a few songs and achieve a noticeable degree of fame without much visible work. Even if they don't win the contest, they still get a record deal if only for a short time. They still achieve without much obvious effort.

That way of thinking translates to I can write a book without taking into consideration the amount of work involved. After all, if someone can be famous for singing a few songs, then why not write a book and be famous that way?

I agree.

These shows never show how much work has gone in before hand: singing lessons, music lessons, rehearsing, gigging etc

kenpochick
07-22-2011, 04:54 PM
I actually think you can equate some of what happens on those shows to trying to get published.

Sometimes a person is good, but not good enough, and they get stuck in the middle pack. i.e rejected.

The voting and judging is very subjective. It seems my favorite singers always get voted out.

You have the newbies who sometimes get a huge amount of success (really Justin Bieber, do we need to hear about your "struggle" at becoming a multi-millionaire by the time you were 16?) while the guy struggling for 20 years falls by the wayside.

Phaeal
07-22-2011, 04:55 PM
The idea that writing success is easy to achieve is more directly fostered by those much-publicized authors who do succeed quickly and big. Stephenie Meyer comes to mind. Also "welfare mom" J. K. Rowling. Also Christopher Paolini (the pre-Knopf slogging around in medieval costume just adds to the romance.) Also Amanda Hocking (the romance of the little gal going it alone!)

My sense is the general public is mainly interested in the Cinderella stories. Only other writers get a kick out of reading about the more typical long and hard and much-rejected march of a particular writer. Unless it has a killer hook, of course. Like "Writer was poised on windowsill of his miserable rejection-papered loft, cyanide vial to his lips, when Big-Time Agent stepped out of a limo at the curb below, screaming "We have a three book deal and a seven-figure advance!!!"

KathleenD
07-22-2011, 07:57 PM
My sense is the general public is mainly interested in the Cinderella stories. Only other writers get a kick out of reading about the more typical long and hard and much-rejected march of a particular writer. Unless it has a killer hook, of course. Like "Writer was poised on windowsill of his miserable rejection-papered loft, cyanide vial to his lips, when Big-Time Agent stepped out of a limo at the curb below, screaming "We have a three book deal and a seven-figure advance!!!"

And of course you have the people who read that and decide to stand on the windowsill without first writing a word, because that's what got TheOtherGuy HIS deal.

Rachel77
07-22-2011, 08:49 PM
That way of thinking translates to I can write a book without taking into consideration the amount of work involved.

Well, technically, anyone can write a book. Putting words down on paper is pretty easy; all you need is a keyboard or a notebook and pen. (I've come across a number of books that seemed to employ this philosophy.)

Putting words down on paper so that they tell a compelling story clearly and effectively is much more difficult. It's this part of it that many people overlook when they think about writing.