Monday, March 14, 2011

You Don't Have To Be Published To Be A Writer

I am always frustrated when I have people pitch to me projects that they are clearly not ready to pitch. No, it isn't a matter of having enough practice. They simply are not ready to make the next step in publishing.

Whole they might pitch a story and they might even get a request for a story, the pressure of the whole process, or even that first rejection letter might be something they simply cannot recover from. Being slapped around before you are ready for it can be damaging to any writer.

If you are a writer that is still in the process of learning, then stick to your guns. Keep learning. Publishers will still be around and writers will still be needed when you are ready. If it takes you 3 or more years just to learn and feel confident about your writing, then take it. In the end, you will be much more successful then those that jumped in before their business.

I meet a lot of writers that just enjoy the company of working with other writers, having the chance to flex their creative muscles and doing the RWA-thing. These are successful writers and I applaud those writers. Heck, they may never finish a project but they love the process. These are successful writers.

As we approach the time to sign up for pitches at Nationals, do not be pressured into pitching by your chapter members or critique partners. If you are having an agent or editor coming to your chapter or conference, don't pitch if you aren't ready. You will now when you are ready!


P.S. This will likely be a short week for writing. Off to visit the writers in Kentucky this coming week.


  1. Thank you for this. I am posting this link in our weekly newsletter just for the title alone!

    Good advice for every writer.

  2. As usual, very good points. One thing I've noticed lately is that getting agent/editor appointments is more like a notch on an author's belt as in, how many pitch appointments can one person accumulate during a conference. I volunteer a lot at these an that's frequently what I hear. Besides how many requests. I think what it does, is those who are being careful (choosy?) feel as if something is wrong when a friend tells them they seen 4 and got requests. There just seems to be so much pressure now to pitch as many as you can where it was much more pitch to the agent/editor that seems best for your work.

    And I love the title too - ties quite nicely into the workshop you gave our group this weekend.