Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Publishing from the writer's perspective

Okay, first off, an acknowlegement is due to Vanessa Jaye, on whose great blog I found this amazing little penguin clip. Still can't stop laughing...

She has it as a header for her list of links to agents and editors... Too funny. And it really does sum up how the publishing industry can feel to a writer at times. Put yourself out there a bit, take a risk to walk out onto the ice... and whack!

No matter what way you look at it, publishing is a tough business and writers need very thick skins to survive the cold water and ice. And I know from friends that getting published doesn't suddenly make it easier, either... Molly was already published when I first met her nearly five years ago and I hope she won't mind me saying I've seen her go through just as many struggles as the rest of us.

A couple of days ago, Diana Peterfreundalso talked about the myth that things get easier when you get a book contract. From Diana's blog:

"...getting published is like levelling up on a video game.You're the same character as you were before when you were at the top of the last level, you're just playing in a much much harder field that requires skills and weaponry you haven't earned yet."

Love that analogy Diana! (or is it a metaphor?)

If you're a writer, no matter what stage of your career you've hit, you're bound to get slapped down, to have your knees taken out from under you, to suffer a little humiliation in front of others...

And yet we still write.

That doesn't make us masochists, does it? No, I think we do it for the times we are above the water with the sun on our faces, the times when we're sliding giddily on the ice, or swimming at high speeds in water teaming with fishies and not a sea lion in sight.

Why do you write?


Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the video game explaination! Now I can relate that to my husband and he'll totally understand! (Did I just use totally in a sentence? Eek!)

I write because I find it helps with my dreams. I used to have these bizarre reoccuring dreams. Now I write them down and they seem to leave me along. If someone wants to buy them, all the better. :)

Maia Caron said...

LOVED the penguin clip. I know how the little guy feels--slapped upside the head and straight into the frigid water. I've certainly been humiliated by literary agents, and if I get another rejection slip on my short stories, I'll hang myself. But I'm a sadist and keep on writing/learning/polishing just to prove them wrong. Didn't John Gardner say that anyone could get published if they just kept plugging at it?

Sinead M said...

I too love the penguin clip.

Not sure why I write, other than I love to. I think we're all masochists at heart.

Jordanne Ford said...

I laughed the first time I saw that clip a few years ago, and still chuckle now.

I write, or think about it when I can't, because the characters in my head won't let me not write, or think about it. That sounds much less scary than saying 'b/c the voices in my head won't let me not write, which I have heard some writers say.

I also write because, as an adult, I've discovered I like learning things. This is a great way to do that, and also to meet some really wonderful people in the process.

Now here's a thought: is it during those 'cuff upside the head into frigid water' times that allows/forces/encourages us to learn more about our weaknesses, and/or simply make us more aware of our weaknesses as writers and come back up swinging, better armed and stronger for it?

Amy Ruttan said...

I love it, have always loved it, and feel an inner drive to do it.

I never thought once the grass would be greener once published (I have yet to be).

Goodness I was excited today when I got a letter from Mills & Boon just stating that they received my manuscript I sent last week and they would let me know in due course. That alone was like almost completing the level of the video game.

Like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football from Lucy, I'll keep trying one day I'll get it.

Sara Hantz said...

Hahahahaha, love the penguin clip.

Why do I write? Something to do with having masochistic tendencies I guess!!!

Molly O'Keefe said...

sometimes I just want to be the penguin doing the pushing -- that's bad isn't it? I shouldn't admit that. But I do -- I guess the only way to do that is to keep trying to write better and better books so those that knocked me into the icy cold hole in the ice will rue the day!!!

Kimber said...

If we try anything worth doing, we'll get slapped down from time to time (or in my case, everyday...LOL). If getting the beats means quitting, then we didn't really want it in the first place.

I write because I feel I have something fresh to say. I recently turned down a non-fiction offer because I had nothing to add that I couldn't say on my blogs or wasn't already out in print by some other talented author.

Anonymous said...

Adore the poor penguin!

Tish Cohen

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