Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why do we write?

This comment has come up in the last 2 weeks from writers I have talked to. We were discussing how hard it was to break into the business. For many, when we start researching the procedures, the numbers and the odds of the publishing, things can get pretty dang gloomy.

Yes, the odds are tough. Yes, there are a lot of rejection letters that go out on a daily basis from editors and agents all around the world. But... there is a place for your writing.

But Scott, you just said that the odds were slim?

True, but there is a place for your writing.

We all have dreams of being the next NY Times best selling author. We all have dreams of staying at home and just writing. This is where the odds are against you. Those chances are really researved to a select few. Some are great writers and some were just in the right place at the right time.

For the rest of the world, remember this. Writing is about self expression. Writing is about expressing emotions and sharing feelings in the written word. There is nothing in the rule book that says you have to be published to be worthy. There is nothing that says if you don't have a PAN membership or a PRO pin you are not a good writer. It simply means you don't have one of those two.

I say this all of the time but I will say it again. If you are a person that just enjoys writing for the sake of writing, then I give you permission to NOT pursue being published. Enjoy this. In all likelyhood, you are doing something those published people may have forgotten. They have lost the innocence and the joy of simply producing a wonderful story.

And for those of you that still want to be published, then go for it. There is a place for you. I was working with a writer a while ago and I told her that her story would find a home. It was a tough sell but I was certain the home would find a place. I know it was frustrating for her to continually get rejection letters. Nothing bad. Everyone loved the writing. It just was a matter of timing. So, what is up with the writer? I don't know.

Just keep on working and enjoying the craft. Keep learning and growing.

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