Friday, April 27, 2012

The worst reason to write

Dear readers and writers,

Probably the best reason to write is that you can't help yourself, you must.  Another reason is that you have something you want to say to the world.  If you write fiction, maybe you have a character or several of them who have fascinating ideas and insights to offer the world.

The worst reason I can think of to write something is because "that's what they want."  My fiction writing seminar class last Wednesday met with an agent who confirmed something I suspected: the timing is all wrong for you if you sit down to write what's topical today.  You'll write it, say taking a year.  You'll take six months (if you're lucky) to find a agent to represent it.  They'll work with you for six months, submit to publishers.  Again, you'll work with an editor for six months if you're lucky enough to be signed.  Then, it will take about a year to publish the book.  So, with the utmost in benign timing at every step, it will be three and a half years before your book is in bookstores.  How many trends last three years?  Not many.

So, I take hope from the idea that only writing something moving, something deep, something I really care about and can't resist writing down is my best strategy for writing a novel.  I need not write about vampires or zombies or hungry competitors; these trends won't be around when and if my novel is published.  Instead, I need to write with my own unique voice, with the imagery of my own world, and trust that an audience will respond to the authenticity when I'm finished.  May it be so for me, may it be so for you.

Image from Creative Commons, with thanks.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Up and Down the Roller Coaster

Dear readers and writers:

Fiona Robyn, whose new ebook, The Most Beautiful Thing, was the focus of a blogsplash yesterday, became the number 1 free ebook in the UK for that day and 20,000 people ordered it.  Up the roller coaster with throat-burning speed indeed.  But then, today, it went back to a very reasonable price instead of being free, and only one copy had sold.  Down the roller coaster with a jerk and a whirl of wind.  She was understandably thrilled yesterday and disappointed today.  Life as an author is not easy.  If you self-publish, then it's up to you to promote your book and giving it away free, even to many people, doesn't lay new carpet.

What really impressed me was Fiona's response.  She explained all this on her blog, Writing Our Way Home, and then she referred us to some beautiful readings, which I won't scoop.  One of those who responded, though, brought up Gravy by Raymond Carver, though.  If you haven't read that, do it now.  Here is the link. What really matters, the carpet or the joy of writing, the joy of connecting with so many readers?  She knows.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Most Beautiful Thing

For the Most Beautiful Thing blogsplash of April 24 (see about that here at  Look at all the blogs on this subject here. 

My most beautiful thing is the little chuckle my husband Mike gives when he's reading something amusing on the computer and he will, in just a minute, look up and share it with me.  Anticipation, love, sharing, community, family, all are rolled up in the moment, not to mention joy!

If you want to read Fiona's ebook The Most Beautiful Thing, order it through