Today I’m going to explore the myth that writing is easy. If I could have a dollar for every time someone has told me writing is easy, I’d probably be a millionaire by now.
I kid you not.
People have this strange illusion you just sit down at the computer and the words flow. Now, I have to be honest, there are some days the words do flow but there are others where no matter what I do, nothing happens. The key is to make the days where nothing happens few and far between.
Now, there are many ways to do this and one I utilize quite often is to read industry books. Recently I found a new to me book called How To Write A Best Seller by Rob Parnell. Here’s one of the best quotes I have ever seen regarding rejects:
"The entire publishing industry is set up to say ‘no’ as a reflex. Have you noticed this? Of course. It’s self evident. Plus, it makes sense. If only one in a thousand published books ever sells more than 60 copies (did you know this was the shocking reality?) then saying ‘no’ does them little harm. In fact it saves them a lot of hard work, paper and money. The majority of publishers survive on re-printing books that have proved themselves first anyway – whether that be in the small presses or on other publisher’s lists. No-one, it seems, is prepared to stick their neck out anymore – if they ever were – and say ‘this is it’ – this is a potential bestseller. For good reason – it’s impossible to predict these things."
This is the hard, cold reality of writing and getting published.
In my mind, it all goes back to the fact that writing isn’t easy. You have to have a great product right out of the gate or it will languish and never sell a thing. This means to me every word on the written page must count. Every word must belong to the overall product. That’s hard in anyone’s book and it doesn’t matter whether you write scientific papers, white papers or the great American novel. Writing is hard work. Period.
Recently, I heard the lamenting of ebook writers who were saying they haven’t sold very many books over the short course of their career. One of things I have noticed in today’s world is the fact one must promote themselves daily. Matter of fact, I set aside a whole day to promoting and it’s usually Wednesday. So you all know if you see more of me on the loops on this day, you know why.
There’s also the fact, I belong to an unsightly number of looks. At last count, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 of them. That’s right, 175 and it so explains the nearly 3000 emails a day. I’m sure you’re all wondering how I keep them all straight. Well, I can thank Outlook for this as I have tons of folders and archive weekly what I don’t delete. Then there is also the fact that on a yahoogroup, your messages are always there. So if you’ve missed something, you can just go back into the group and see what you’ve missed.
I’ve had to do that a lot with the number of times I’ve killed a computer. But that’s a story for a different day.
Today’s quote definitely goes along with the subject. Hope you agree:
Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
I couldn’t have said it better. Hope you all have a great writing or reading day!