ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#IWSG May post -- Getting traditionally published is easy.

Hello people!

Well, April zipped by, and it's May already! How did that happen? I hope your April was amazing whatever you were doing -- writing your little heart out, editing your little heart out, reading great books, participating in the A - Z, having babies, falling in love, falling out of love, travelling...whatever..l just hope you had a great April.


Now here our focus returns to that iffy situation/near impossibility of getting traditionally published.

Nicola Morgan's Write to be Published is just one of 40 books I've read so far for the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge, ("Some say life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” ~Ruth Rendell, crime writer extraordinaire, who died a few days ago) and with Nicola's permission, I'm reprinting some of it here. It shows how dead easy some think it is to get traditionally published (((laughs uproariously))), so it really needs to be shared. (And I love a good laugh!)

NICOLA'S CONVERSATION WITH A TAXI DRIVER

If you ever manage to become published, you will one day have an incredibly annoying conversation with a taxi-driver. I have no advice for these situations, as I don't condone physical violence. Here's a recent conversation:

TD  - So what's your line of business?
NM - I write books.
TD  - Really?
NM - Yes

 (I am expecting the regular, "They say everyone's got a book in them." To which my answer would be either, "If so, that's usually where it should stay," or, "Yes, but would anyone want to read it?" Unfortunately, this particular story goes beyond such ordinariness.)

TD  - So, how do you get a book published then?
NM - (takes a deep breath, wondering where to begin): Um...
TD  - Because anyone can write a book, can't they? (Silence). Not meaning to be insulting or anything, but anyone can. I've got a friend who's writing one. He says it's easy. Unless you're dyslexic of something.
NM - Actually, you could be a great writer and still be dyslexic.
TD  - Well, that proves it--anyone can write a book. If they've got time. Like, I've often thought of writing a book but I've never had time.
NM - (tempted to ask, "What about when you're waiting at a traffic light? Or your passenger has just decided she'd rather walk?": Actually, it's extremely difficult. We may make it look easy, but you've no idea of the incredibly difficult technical skills and spectacularly creative gifts that are involved.

***
TD  - I don't have much time for books. Like my son--but that's boys, isn't it? Got more important things to do. My daughter now, she's a really great reader. She read the whole of the last Harry Potter book in about ten days.
NM - Really, how old is she?
TD  - Twenty-five. My wife and I, we always told her she could be a writer. Thing is, she doesn't have time. But they say everyone's got a book in them, don't they?

The journey ended. TD got no tip. I stomped to my front door then off-loaded onto my long-suffering husband who had many times in the past asked when the psychotherapy was going to kick in.

Getting published is so easy, really. Write the right book in the right way, then send it to the right publisher in the right way at the right time.


What could be simpler?

Thanks for stopping by. I hope it cheered up your day. To read more IWSG posts, click here. Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh and the team for hosting the group this month.

For further insights into the publishing world, visit Nicola's blog, Help! I Need a Publisher!

WRITERS' QUOTE for the month:

"I don't care what it takes, this is what I want."  
Susan Mallery who has published 150+ books!





33 comments:

  1. No, it's not easy to write a good book; many have tried and given up. But, it's also annoying when even animals are getting in on the book explosion. . . !
    I can identify with how the writer feels after talking to that TD - demeaned. . .such is our writer's lot. One day, just you wait.

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    1. If you get to actually finish a book...and I mean rewrites, edits blah blah, you are well ahead of most people on the planet. Easy?? As if!!

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  2. Hi, Denise,

    VERY AMUSING! I had to laugh. She was quite calm... I would have smacked him in the back of the head and said {GET A GRIP!) And go into my five year tirade. LOL.

    Nice to see you at my blog... Some bad news today... I wrote about it for tomorrow post... I may not be getting my place after all... LIFE....

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    1. So sorry to hear that Michael! I'll come over and see...

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  3. If everyone had a book in them and it was easy, we'd have seven billion new books in one year.
    But we don't.
    Yeah, that conversation was annoying. The guy had no clue. I think it would've been fun to start making things up and play with his mind.

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    1. Yes, I could think of some things to say, but I'd be afraid he'd crash his cab!

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  4. Loved this post.

    When I was studying creative writing in college, a visiting author came and I remember a story he told us about going golfing with a surgeon friend. The conversation went something similar with the surgeon saying "I've always thought I had a book in me. Just never had the time to write," to which the visiting author replied, "I've always thought I had a surgeon in me. Just never had the time to operate."

    I think of this and laugh often. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, I've heard this one in reference to writers who don't think they need to learn their craft, believing that writing comes naturally. Well, it does to a point, but there's a lot of craft to learn!!

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  5. This is priceless, Denise. Writing a novel is the hardest thing I've ever attempted to do. Yikes.

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    1. I'll drink to that Karen! Hardest, but mainly rewarding?

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  6. That was great! I always get upset when someone says it's easy to write a book...obviously they never heard about editing. And that it's easy to publish...obviously they never heard about querying.

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  7. That was great! I always get upset when someone says it's easy to write a book...obviously they never heard about editing. And that it's easy to publish...obviously they never heard about querying.

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    1. For sure Chrys. Only someone who's never written a book, or tried to write a book...

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  8. Yeah, easy as can be. No skill at all, pfffft.

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  9. LOL. That made my morning so far. I'm sure many people feel the same way as that taxi driver. If they only knew.

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    1. If only,..then they wouldn't believe anyone would put themselves through the process!!

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  10. Hi Denise
    You made me smile. Yes, anyone can write a book. I just saw a cat and dog hard at work. The cat was going back and forth across the keyboard and the dog was barking out instructions.

    Seriously, I've been wondering how you've been doing. I'm almost done with my sequel then comes the edits, submit the full to my critique group, more edits, then editor and lastly, looking for a book cover artist. And in-between all that, writing the next book. Yup, writing is a piece of pie. Why pie, cause cake is over-used. Hehe.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm glad your sequel is going well. You could tell that taxi driver a thing or two. Piece of cake for sure!!

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  11. Easy writing a book? Yeah, right.
    The excerpt was hilarious...read the HP at 25 haha...she could write a book only doesn't have the time...LOL

    That taxi driver was lucky he got an author who was so patient. Some others would have probably clobbered him one with the old handbag. (muttering darkly)

    But it is true that there is an explosion of published books ( I am referring to the Indian mkt, but I think that holds for the other markets as well) from a whole swathe of new authors, and then I keep hearing also that the e-readers will mean the print book is finished and that publishers can't find enough content, nothing really adds up. .

    Off topic, but I am somewhat disturbed that your post didn't get updated on my blog feed :( I thought that problem had sorted itself.

    Hope all is going well with you.

    Best always,
    Nila

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    1. Oh no, here we go again. I've been madly pinging feedburner this morning. Hope this works.

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    2. Thanks Nila! I've got the mutt working again! Phew!

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  12. Well, it all sounds so easy when you put it like that. Dyslexia not withstanding :)

    Every time I go offline I have visions of not coming back. But, I seem to always schedule posts for the month after. Glutton for punishment I guess, lol.

    Got your e-mail, will look over the questions in the next few days and see what I can get together.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. I wish it was that easy Donna. But we know better!

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  13. giggle.. yep, so easy!
    Thanks for the smiles.

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  14. Ugh! Anyone can drive a taxi. Literally...ANYONE! I probably would have said, "Anyone can write a book but very few people can write a GOOD book and get it published." It was worse when I wrote romance. You wouldn't believe the nasty things people say. "Why would you write that trash?" etc. There was a story about a writer who was sitting at a bar at a writer's conference. A man asked if she was one of those romance writers. She said yes and said, "Anyone can write one of those. What's really hard is writing a real book." She wrote on a napkin something like "I will pay you $200,000 if you can write a romance novel and get it published and in bookstores in a year." Of course, she never heard from him again. That was (of course) the days before you could self-publish and get your book in stores!

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  15. Funny, I was talking to Matt about this yesterday. I once used to believe that all you had to do was write a book and then find a publisher. What a joke. Associating with all you writers has sure opened my eyes to the agonies of writing. If anyone said to me they were going to start writing, my advice would be "dont". I cannot imagine why any of you ever start, let alone finish. I think I would have told that taxi driver a thing or two.

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  16. As bad as that conversation was, the most infuriating thing was that boys have more important things to do than read.

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  17. Nicola Morgan always cracks me up!

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  18. That's like saying making a million on the stock market is easy. All you have to do is put money on the right stock at the right time and sell it again at the right time. What could be easier than that?

    Actually, sounds a lot easier than writing a book...

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  19. Hello greetings and good wishes.

    Very amusing conversation with the taxi driver.

    Every one dreams of writing a book but writing a book is not as easy as it looks. We see so many new books flooding the book stores but how many are really successful is a very big question.

    Your quote about publishing a book is an eye opener. It is not easy to get a book published. So many RIGHTS are needed.

    I think writing is a job like any other job. One has to work at it every single day and some days will be productive and some days creativity will refuse to flow. There will be disappointments galore.

    Excellent,hilarious and very informative post.

    Best wishes

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  20. If writing that first book took less than twenty years - yeah, then yes you can say easy. LOL This was great but the saddest part is we've all had those discussions. I hope I haven't missed many more!

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  21. Eeeeek! I'm getting hot under the collar just reading that guy's comments! Why do people assume they know everything about stuff they've never tried?

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