Wow. In my present search for a publisher I have been so upset by the cryptic rudeness of publishers and agents alike, as if they view the writer as some inferior form of lower life. Form-letters of rejection are, to me, welcome. At least they let me know. Most do not even favour the writer with a response. Some do not even deign to answer a simple email question. Never mind how busy they are, it only takes a moment to hit the return button.

And yet, in communicating with several writers in several parts of this continent, I begin to see that perhaps we bring it on ourselves.

One writer has been working at an outline (novel not even started) for weeks, giving all sorts of ‘reasons’ for not finishing. As I see it, the primary reason for her excuses is that she likes to talk about writing, but probably never will write.

Another says that her time commuting to work (two trains and a bus each way) makes it impossible for her to find time to write. Hmmm. How about during the commute?

Another finds that family concerns force her to put it off and put it off. Family concerns. Meaning grandkids. Birthday parties, trips to the zoo, day care. Again… Not really a writer.

I say it again, a writer is one who cannot NOT write.

It is no wonder that agents and publishers can’t be bothered with writers. It is too much trouble to find the real writers in all this forest of wannabes


Wow — 3 Comments

  1. I agree that someone who talks about writing and says they have no time is not a true writer, though, one day, they may well be if the urge gets so great they ignore the washing up etc. So, I won’t discount them completely. I also agree with your definition of a writer being someone who just cannot say no to writing.
    I woke up with an idea bubbling in my brain, for a simple, short story the other morning. I knew I had my toddler grandson arriving within the hour for the day so I wrote it down in a notebook before I was out of bed and had the beginning, middle and end in place before breakfast. I then fine tuned it on the computer throughout the day whenever I found a minute. Two days later, after a fair number of edits, I sent it off to the magazine in which I have had many short stories published in the past, when my own children were small (I have five, so life was busy). I haven’t yet had a novel published. I have written several and have in the past submitted them to publishers/ However, I have never quite got to the point where they want to publish, except for one time when a dubious publisher offered an equally dubious deal using such outlandish words that he frightened me off. It was never the writing that stopped me submitting work, more the time needed to print, package and post lengthy manuscripts. I’d do it a couple of times and give up. Short stories are easier, a few pages in an envelope. Nowadays, many submissions can be done by email and I love this fact but self publishing is also so much more available that I intend following this route in the future. I joined NaNoWriMo in November and got my 50,000+ words out. I am now building that into a book. Nano gave me a target to meet and I do believe even writers work best under pressure! Procrastination is the Achilles’ heel of a writer I think.
    Spotted you on Linkedin and came to check out your blog – oh dear, seem to have left a lengthy comment. Nice to meet you! 🙂 Debbie

    • Dubious publishers are our true Achilles heel, I think. Writers are needy. We write for ourselves, but having written, we need an audience. The first ‘publisher’ that happens along, and we tend to leap into the deep end with them, believing that any publisher is better than none. There is an excellent website where we can check publishers, agents, all sorts of other stuff: check it out. http//
      As for printing, packaging, and sending out submissions by snail mail, many small publishers are going to email submissions. Of course you check them out before submitting. Also, I usually send a cc to a friend with an email submission, just for the record.
      Yes, NaNoWriMo is famous now. I can’t do it. At least, not off the cuff. I would probably spend the first 11 months of the year planning to enter that competition, which states that the 50,000 word novel you work on during November is new, never written, and planned as you go. Yes, I would probably have to cheat; and I cannot cheat. But what fun!

  2. One of my favorite quotes (probably making a hash out of it but…)

    Pardon the length of this letter for I did not have time to write a shorter one. – Voltaire after writing a 14 page ‘short’ note to a friend.

    Artists must feed their muse or it hounds them without mercy. Many wish to hear the muse and think they hear the muse but when the muse calls, no other voice can be heard. Those that hear other voices over that of the muse’s voice, like commutes and even family visits really don’t hear the muse, only think they are hearing that sweet addictive song 🙂

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