For the Doubters

I know you are out there!
I also know many of you really disliked the tone of my recent post on how to get published. One of the more pessimistic comments I got said:

I know many writers (self included ) who have judiciously followed every one of your steps – and still remain unpublished. I think the reality there is, keep on writing, keep on perfecting your craft, keeping on submitting material – and be realistic – certain markets are overcrowded – every man and his dog wants to write the “next Harry Potter”.
The thing is it’s a long road and it takes time. I once read that it can take, on average, ten years for a writer to be published.
If you don’t have perseverance and self belief, I don’t think the writing game is one you’d want to be in.

I tend to agree a little but I feel strongly that there is hope for many and the post confirms that!

Well below the fold is the link I think you will like/hate and a cartoon everyone will enjoy . . .

The Link

It is from Agent Jennifer Jackson’s blog and it is here.

The Cartoon

Truth in Blogging
PS The cartoon is from

9 thoughts on “For the Doubters

  1. No, Eoin, I don’t agree that my comment was pessimistic, I think it was realistic. There are loads of writers out there who just don’t make it – despite their very best efforts, which include following all your steps.
    I’m on various writers’ lists and there is some truly great stuff that deserves to be published but it isn’t. Perhaps it’s a case of bad luck or targetting the wrong person on the wrong day. Furthermore, every article I’ve ever read makes a point of saying how tough it is to get published in a world where everyone believes they have a book in them. The children’s book market, as an example, is fiercely competitive and budgets sooner go to celebrity authors or established authors. That’s not pessimistism, that’s reality.
    Yes, perhaps it paints a gloomy picture BUT that is the reality of it and I think it’s better for people to know what they’re getting into. The bright-eyed dream of “I’ll write a book and a book and get published” is not an easy dream to accomplish. And it doesn’t happen in a year. It takes effort, hard work, perseverance and determination. Not everyone has those qualities, not everyone wants to be published that badly.
    I think its important to know just what the industry is like and to plan accordingly. Accept, that unlike JK Rowling, most people will not make millions and appreciate that rejections are part of the learning curve.
    And if one really, really wants to write and be published, then work at it and work hard and maybe it will happen.
    I know I will be published, I know my hard work will pay off. As a note above my desk says, “A publisher will be lucky to find me”! 🙂

  2. Yikes! The gremlims got that one.
    Pessimism not pessimistism (though I have to admit, it has a certain ring to it…)
    “I’ll write a book (yeah and maybe another book) and get published”

  3. I didn’t dislike the tone of your How to Get Published post. I found it informative. Actually, one of your remarks about not paying for an agent to read an ms stuck with me strongly. I was recently in that situation and was glad I followed my instincts to say no.

  4. Helen,

    I just really dislike the concept and the idea. It stinks. Agents should either say straight away no we don’t like the idea or yes we will read it but they sure should not charge!


    I tend to agree with your sentiment but baulk at your tone perhaps? I think yes, it can be hard, yes it can be long term and difficult and often the rewards are meagre.

    But no-one has ever claimed it to be otherwise, and I hopefully did not give that impression. Equally why should it be easy? If people want easy and their goals are limited then self publishing through or blurb or many of the other services like that are more than adequate.

    I do think that perseverance is vital. The idea I am trying to get across is that initial rejection is not necessarily fatal to publication.

  5. Tone? What tone? Oh the joys of electronic communication. 🙂

    I think there is a reality out there that says there are many new/young writers who see the success of bestselling authors and think it is easy – and can and will be so for them too – only to discover, a file full of rejections later, that actually, it can be a long hard road etc.
    And as for rejections per se, they are part and parcel of the writer’s learning curve. I recall reading somewhere that Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time received over 30 rejections, took over 10 years to get published and then went on to win the Newbery Award. Likewise, Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected 30 times before being picked up for publication and Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingstone Seagull received more than 140 rejections.
    So absolutely, an initial rejection is not necessarily fatal to publication – but, I think writers need to be aware that rejection is part of the learning curve and not the death knell.

    Now go and have a jar of the dark stuff and have a wonderful weekend. Slainte! 🙂

  6. I’m catching up on your posts and didn’t at all find your earlier advice off-putting. One thing I do believe is that you don’t write to be published. You write because you have something you want to say, because you love putting together stories (or whatever form you’ve chosen), and because you wouldn’t enjoy your life half so much if you weren’t shaping things into a world of your own making. That said, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to earn money doing all this hard work, or wanting to reach people with your ideas. And so it’s good to be smart and realistic in going about the business of getting your finished product out into the world. Posts like the one you’ve given us are enormously helpful in accomplishing that.

    And if you want to make that sort of topic a regular habit, I’d be thrilled.

  7. Thanks BL,
    I shall hold that in mind! I guess one of the reasons I have avoided topics like this is that many others do a better job helping writers towards their goal but maybe some topics I do have views on migth make it in over the next few weeks!

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