Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Long Road to Publication
Now to today. Elana Johnson had a great post with guest blogger, Gretchen McNeil, debut author of POSSESS. Go over and read it if you haven't. It's a great post. The reason I mention it is because time after time I have read posts about authors and their stories to 'fame and fortune', or well, just being published period. And I've found one unifying similarity to all their stories: STRUGGLE.
I think it's safe to say that when you get into the writing game you can expect a long, long road ahead of you. NOT a nice shiny, newly paved freeway. There are bumps and dips, my friends. Sometimes there are even places where the construction engineers forgot to even lay that lucious black goo down.
I have been tempted to print out the ninety-eleven or so stories I've read on people's experiences and share them with the non-writerly friends and relatives out there who, heaven love them, think that when you decide to write a book it will be done no later than the end of the month and you will be well on your way to getting your book on the coveted front table at Barnes and Noble in time for Christmas shopping of this year. Isn't this a well-founded belief system? Writing a book can't be that tough, can it? I mean didn't your next door neighbor say just the other day that they meant to write a book based loosely on their struggles raising children, and another neighbor clames they could find a story in their experience fighting in WWII? Or perhaps they will write about that quirky experience at the supermarket last week, 'cause well, it was funny to them so it will set everyone off in hysterics.
Not so. And if you think writing is that simple perhaps you should go back to bagging grocieries at that supermarket. Writing is not for the weak of heart, nor the quick buck, nor the 'sticking it' to your gradeschool nemesis who still lives down the street, living in their parents house just like you. Okay, so at one point I was nauive enough to believe as others, but thankfully I truly did (and do) love to write. It's something that has been with me my entire life and gosh-darnit I will make it work. But, also thankfully, I understand (and hopefully the rest of the world will someday understand this, too) that a book takes time. And for some people it takes a lot of time. And your heart may get broken once or twice in the process.
So, I want to say a big 'THANKYOU' to all those authors who shared their hardluck stories with the rest of us so that we can see through the glamour of real-life publishing triumphs to what really happened behind the scenes. I for one will keep my eyes open through this experience, and I hope all of you other writer-hopefuls will also see through the glamours.
And Gosh darnit, people love you!
Well, I love you.
NO, don't call the police. Remember YOU are the one stalking me =)