Some of my writing workshop students and I recently attended a workshop on query letters and getting an agent, and had mixed reviews regarding the value we received for listening to a publishing world survivor talk about himself for three hours.
One of the things we DID agree on, however, was that it is valuable to hear another’s take on breaking into the world of “the published.”
Now, there are different levels of “published.” Some folks are content to blog and be published online. Others enjoy writing non-fiction and strive to have their work published in local magazines and newspapers. Some opt for submissions to literary journals, contests and the like. But the pinnacle for most of my students (and for me) is the hardback, backed-by-a-known-publishing-house, complete with shiny jacket sporting encouraging words from a well-known author type of publishing.
When they (we) started writing – many, many moons ago – we knew it was more than an obsession. It was a “calling” of sorts. Our goal was to be a contender on the New York Times Bestseller List. That’s our Holy Grail.
Then along comes some guy we pay to listen to, telling us that our we may as well start flipping burgers at the local restaurant; we’ll never make enough money to live on if we’re waiting to be published.
What? Really? Oh, come ON! Please tell us it’s more than a “who you know” game!
We all want to be the “next big thing.” We all want to give the talks, get writer’s cramp just signing books for hours on end, to see our books on the shelves of big box and Indie book stores alike, and to have our Amazon link come up on Page One of a Google search.
Feeling a little blue, like our meticulously crafted works of fiction would be forever damned to the hard drives of our home computers, we slunk off to continue practicing our craft.
Then along comes a blog that gives us a glimmer of hope. I stumbled across it while reviewing my Twitter page, by Writers Relief. (Twitter.com@writersrelief).
Don’t let the pessimistic title fool you. It’s quite an encouraging post, comparing getting published to the challenges of finding a mate. Entitled, “Editors and Literary Agents: Why They’re Just Not That Into You,” this post offers the kick-in-the-pants type of encouragement your husband or best friend won’t give you.
Read on and happy publishing!