Monday, October 6, 2008

Permission to write

Writing is fantastic! Unfortunately, we are too often caught up in the business side of things that we forget about the simple pleasures of writing. The human quality that comes out when we create something new. I sometimes believe it is this reason that we see so many writers simply fade away after a couple of books. Simply put - the joy is no longer there.

I bring this up, not so much for the published authors out there but the unpublished authors. I give you permission to simply write and not to worry about becoming published.

Consider the following:

If you are somone that enjoys the fellowship of your writing group and organization and that is your central drive, then just write for the sake of writing.

If you are someone that enjoys sharing your stories with friends and that is it, then just write for the sake of writing.

If you are someone that likes to dabble in all of the new genres out there, just to give it a try and explore, then just write for the sake of writing.

The thing is this. The writing world is open for everyone but everyone is not necessarily cut out to be a published author. You might be that person and there is no shame in being that person. I applaud you for standing up and saying out loud, I write as a hobby and darn it, I don't need to be a NY Times Best Selling Author.

(Of course, it a contract comes along, you might change your mind). But remember, even then, you don't have to accept it.

Keep writing fun. That is ultimately the key!


  1. Ah, yes... the number 6 thing I learned about publishing from Willy Wonka.

    Don't let a Golden Ticket make the chocolate taste terrible.

    The writing IS fun. It's the business side that sucks the joy out of it if you let it (no offense).

    :) Terri

  3. Hmmm, wise words. I think about that sometimes, hoping all the "rules" and "business" won't discourage my writing.
    And great pics!

  4. That is one sweet post-another time we might discuss the reasons in particular women fade away-I don't have the heart for it on Monday. For more on this topic, check the J Jackson post on the DMLA site. She finally said that out of all the hundreds of queries that cross her desk every week, virtually none of them will ever see publication, in effect, and asked writers to tell her if they would continue writing, if they accepted that fact, right now. Interesting answers indeed. Anyone who follows the publishing world's sinking trajectory in Publisher's Weekly, among others, knows the industry is in the middle of a major trajectory nosedive, and no hope in sight. The last group with the time and money to read would be teen and preteen girls, and the book is only the lead-in for the movie and a sh--load of junky merchandise. (As in Hannah Montana and the two full ailses of junk sitting in the local Toys=R-Us.) Check that sorry sight out.
    Imagine a world in which we all wrote for the pure pleasure of it again. what a wonderful thought that is, because I would guess that is the reason we all began. Meanwhile, what about self-publishing? Brunonia Barry and Stephanie Howell? It can be done. And if nothing else, the sweetness of pure writing might return for many of us.

  5. I personally hate the idea of self-publishing.
    And I don't think the thing with publishing will be forever. People love to read.
    In one way or another, there will be sellers and there will be buyers.
    Supply and demand.
    Is it challenging to know I might never be published? Sure.
    But my goal isn't just to be published anyway. I like writing, no matter what.
    The agent on DMLA is one person's opinion. A professional, yeah.
    We can all write for pleasure. We can't all be paid for it.

  6. You give me heart, girl, and i used to "hate" the idea of self-publishing also. But that option seems to be working for more and more people, IF one already has a good book dealing with a popular topic, AND you live in one of the few areas that still has a lot of independent bookstores, AND you have the personal resources to promote and sell the book on your own until an agent decides it is worth his time. Scott?

  7. For a long time I worried about how I would get published once my manuscript was finally done. It stressed me out, and was sort of sapping the joy out of my writing, so I decided not to think about it, and just focus on how much I love to write.

    Flash forward a year - I have two blogs that have a combined readership of over 100,000 visitors per month. One blog is a personal humor type blog, and the other is about my romantic travails - I use a pen name there. I just started that blog, but it's spreading like wildfire.

    Anyway, I was about to start querying agents again, when I realized that I can probably just self-publish and sell the books on my blogs and do pretty dang well.

    Hopefully it'll be a classic case of "do what you love, the money will follow."

    I guess my whole point here is - great post. :)

  8. The thing about the self-publishing is that you have a heck of a lot more work to do to get that book out there to the public. Sure, people self-publish and do fine, but to be successful requires having an outlet for the books.