Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Your Writer

It took Robert Frost 20 years to finally get published. How long would it take him today? I have been writing seriously for almost 20 years and I remember the day when you could submit a book proposal to a publisher directly. Today, most publishers don’t take a proposal unless it is delivered via an agent. But try to get an agent to look at your proposal—it takes even more perseverance than submitting to publishers did long ago.

Consider the book proposal itself; multi-faceted and directly influenced by each agent or publishing house. Who wants a bio and resume, a one-sheet, a chapter synopsis, several chapters, marketing plan, full manuscript, query letter, references . . . But some want one item, several items, a mixture, a combination, assimilation, mishmash, hodgepodge, or mélange. Some want hard copy mailed to them. Some want the proposal “in” an email. Others want it “attached” to an email. It’s dizzying to keep track of it all. Oh, I use Excel spreadsheets and dutifully do my dandiest to keep it all sanely filed so I can reference it later. But sometimes it creates a landslide carrying me down the gully to despair. Writers have to be disciplined; they have to push through the salmagundi of distractions and pitfalls.

It is hard work to be a writer—hard work to submit and be rejected. It is hard work to submit at all. But when the drive and gift is in you, you must write and write and write. Times have changed for submitting, but times have changed for writing. Writers have to love to write!

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  1. I am with you. Good post. Also, a note regarding your recent reads: George Winship was not a co-author of Star Wars Jesus.
    - Peace, Caleb Grimes

  2. Oooops! So sorry--fixed! Great book. And it made a great resource for my 19 year old. 8^)I enjoyed it!