Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Which I Am Brutally Honest

Yesterday an anonymous commenter (hey there, Anon! Stop being passive aggressive! We're open to dialogue here, I promise) called my post on how trying to get published is like waiting in line at Disneyland "condescending."

First, I'm physically incapable of being condescending as I literally look up to pretty much anyone over the age of twelve.  (Speaking of short jokes, yesterday my daughter said, "Tomorrow's short day at school!"  My husband raised his eyebrows at me and said, "Are you the guest of honor?")

Second, I'm guessing what happened was this.  Dear Anon, never having read my blog before, popped over following a link.  Anon saw the following: Young idiot debut novelist who is a NYT bestseller telling other writers to quit asking to cut in line because she'd already put in her time and now it was their turn.  Dear Anon, who is probably writing and querying and dealing with those frustrations (which are infinite), most likely thought, "What do you know about the line?"

Friend, I know plenty.  I didn't just fall into getting published.  It wasn't all some big, happy accident story that makes aspiring authors want to rip out their hair.  I got a degree in English with an emphasis in editing.  I wrote a book.  I queried that book for a year.  I read hundreds of other books.  I wrote another book.  I queried fifty agents.  I got one.  That book went on sub and nobody wanted it.  In the meantime I had written two other books.  I picked one of those, I edited it, it went on sub, and everybody wanted it.

It was an incredibly happy ending years, and years, and years in the making.

So yes, I know something about lines.  Please don't think "This is all easy for HER to talk about from where she is now."  I have been where you are.  I was there for a long time.  I have not forgotten.

Of course it was never my intention to imply that aspiring writers need to quit whining and just wait.  I was actually trying to point out why sometimes it takes a long time and sometimes it doesn't and that it never makes any sense.  It was meant to be encouraging.  Another commenter even pointed out that it was overly optimistic to say if you wait in the line you will get on the ride.

Brutal truth time?  Yup.  It was overly optimistic.  The vast majority of people writing who hope to get published will never get there.

Too much honesty for a Wednesday?  I think so.  But there it is.  Publishing is an industry.  It responds to a fickle, ever-changing market.  It's an industry that is currently in flux, with many publishers bleeding money because of outdated sales systems.  It's an industry that is shifting and adapting daily to the changing business landscape.  Books. Are. Products.

And not every product can or will find a place in the market.

You are not the gatekeeper.  Nothing beyond your own writing is up to you.  The industry does not care how many years you have spent dreaming of being an author.  It does not care how many manuscripts you have worked on to get where you are today.  It does not care how much time and energy and desperation you have logged pursuing that dream of seeing your words in print in a bookstore.

You can write your entire life and never get published.

Again:

You can write your entire life and never get published.

The odds are against you.  It's sad and infuriating, but it's true.  So here is my question: Are you writing to get published, or are you trying to get published because you love writing?

If you said yes to the first part, you are in for a world of pain and frustration.  You've set your sights on something you literally cannot make happen on your own*.  I'm not saying it'll never happen.  If the entire point of your writing is to get published, you may very well succeed.  But I'd imagine there is very little joy in that, because once you're published, what's left?  Deciding you must be a bestseller?  Deciding you must get a film deal?  Where is the contentment?  Where is the fulfillment in what you do?

However.  If you are trying to get published because you love writing, never lose sight of the why.  Don't get so focused on having a book that you lose the reasons you write those manuscripts in the first place.  Writing is amazing.  The best writers I know write because without writing they would be lost.  They write because of the sheer giddy joy of creation.  They write because they genuinely, unabashedly love telling stories.  They stick it out through the frustrations of drafting and the agonies of edits because they are deeply committed to what they are doing.  They move forward from rejection and failure because to quit writing is unfathomable, even if some days it feels like they would be far saner if they just gave up.  They perfect their craft because it's important to them that what they are writing and expressing is written and expressed in the best possible way.

Yes, you should understand the industry.  Yes, you should be smart about the elusive and mythical "market" to help your manuscripts and books have a shot at getting published.  Yes, you should know how to get published and do your best to get there.  Yes, it is okay to want to get published with a desperate, aching need that other people will probably never understand.

Just please, don't let the pursuit of publication (at any stage) kill your love of writing.  Publication isn't up to you, but a love of writing you can keep and nurture and be nurtured by for your entire life, regardless of whatever else happens.

In the end, with a book deal, without a book deal, it's still just you and the words on the page.  Do you see them as a means to an end, or an end in and of themselves?

*Excepting self-publishing. Please just assume all of my talk of "publishing" refers to traditional publishing, not because I have anything against self-publishing, merely because I know nothing about it.


And, yeah, way too much heavy for a Wednesday, what with all of the other things going on in the world that we can and should be feeling bad about:

72 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

It takes courage to tell the truth, but any a-hole can be offended by it.

Kiersten White said...

Snort. Thanks, Yoda ; )

Rebecca L Sutton said...

Well said!!! I didn't catch the first post that brought on this comment but I love this. I'm still waiting in line and though it took me a year or so (still have days) I'm waiting more patiently. I want to wait! I want to get there with the right book, the right agent and the right timing. Ugh but what a hard lesson to learn!

Thank you for sharing your journey with so much honesty and humor!

Sarvenaz Tash said...

Perfectly worded. That is all.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Great post. You rock. :)

Corinne said...

And the congregation says...Amen!

Michele Shaw said...

It's a hard truth, but it is the truth. Anyone who tries to deny it is setting themselves up. Great post! Nothing wrong with honesty.

Angela Felsted said...

Amen sister!

Tina said...

Wow...yeah. Just yeah.

Ru said...

Oh yikes, that was a mean comment. Frowny face and boo to anonymousers everywhere.

But just so you don't take it personally, I think sometimes people just get their panties in a twist because even if you're writing for the love of writing, which I think most people are (I imagine creative writing with the only goal of being published wouldn't last long), it gets old thinking, "Hey, I suck at this thing I love to do!" Which isn't especially true, but is a sometimes inevitable conclusion after receiving dozens of rejections. (And here I thought 43 ding letters from firms during law school was rough ...)

Back on a happier/funner note, whenever I get rill bummed out, I just conclude I can always self-publish and at least enjoy having a real copy of my stuff on my own shelf. And then I bust out my old copy of MOON PEOPLE (which, if you haven't read, you need to) and reconsider the wisdom of that idea ...

MOON PEOPLE makes everything better.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Very well said, although I was taken aback a bit by that anonymous comment. Condescending? I didn't sense that at all. But it probably was someone who was frustrated and ate the wrong cereal that morning.
But it is for the writing, isn't it? I'd rather write to the end of my life and never be published than be published once and stop. Being published is the plus side of my writing, not the verification.

LilySea said...

Perfect for ASH WEDNESDAY, though.
Remember you are dust, but your words are electronic and will live longer than even you may want them to. (Let it be a reminder to would-be snipey anons.)

I am beginning to see, by looking at writers with whom I can identify, but who are ahead of my in the Disneyland line, that the difference between a good published writer and a good unpublished writer is pretty much time and tenacity.

Your story is illuminating and actually does contain advice: if you fail keep going and don't be afraid to keep failing until you hit that lottery number--an agent/editor who falls for your work.

Also, don't get too tied to any one project.

I sent out 70 queries to agents on my last book, but before I even hit send I had the next book outlined. As the rejections trickle in for the one that's out there, I barely feel a prick. I am too excited about this next one.

I plan to keep going on in this way until I get to the front of the line.

It may not be inevitable, but it's more likely this way than by pining and whining.

Sonia Gensler said...

You're cool.

And you're inspiring me to get back to work. YAY!

Kiersten White said...

YES: LilySea: "The difference between a good published writer and a good unpublished writer is pretty much time and tenacity."

Beth Mann said...

Thanks for this Kristen, I'm going to mention this on my blog today. Not just because you were so honest, and we writers need to hear the truth (even when we don't want to - which is what I think ANON's problem probably was), but because you also understand that a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down (LOVE the Flight of the Conchords at the end!).

Broken Angel said...

I think that anon was pretty mean to post something like that. You shouldn't stress over it. And I liked the post about lines. Reminded me that I'm going to disneyland soon.

MsFairyFreak said...

Wow so true. I've read so many posts that sugar coat things and whenever I read posts like these I actually know what I'm getting into as an aspiring writer. I spent years writing and editing and getting rejected and then writing and editing more and I'm not even 19 (I will be soon though!) I've grown really tough skin through my experiences, but I doubt it will protect me from some the trials and tribulations this business has, but I have time. Maybe it's different because I'm still very young, but I can wait until my time comes. In the words of every fluffy blog post “you may get thousands of noes, it only takes one yes” or something like that.

Midnyte Reader said...

Thank you so much for the great post. Yeah, I write because I like to write.

Kimberly Sabatini said...

(((((hugs))))) You nailed it! I would be doing this no matter what the outcome. At the end of the day it's the writing.

Deborah Blake said...

Here, have some chocolate.

Nice post. I'm at the "Finally got an agent a year ago, still trying to get a contract" stage. Is it better than the no-agent stage? You betcha. Is it a guarentee that I will make it to the got-a-contract stage...clearly not. But I'm still writing. That's all you can do. Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

Rick Daley said...

I think you seem like a very sweet and genuine person and you deserve every ounce of your success.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I bought the Industry sexy lingerie, roses, and chocolate chip cookies and it didn't even call me back.

I'm sure, though, the singing telegram will work.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Sing it, sista, sing it! There are no guarantees in life, and certainly not in any area of the arts, no matter how good you are or how long you keep at it. Simple fact. Embrace that and carry on in the face of it, or find something else to do. Tough truth, but truth nonetheless.

Zachary Grimm said...

Quote of the day goes to Yoda (first post)!! haha.

But seriously, Kiersten, you are absolutely right, and have every reason TO be right, since you've been there, ARE there, and WILL BE there again and again.

I for one LOVE to write because I LOVE WRITING. It's who I am. Sure, I can't support my finances by writing my novels right now, but I CAN support my soul. And without that, I got nothing.

So here's to that soul, may it forever be filled with stories to tell. *Virtual glass clink* :)

On a side note, would it be meaningful for me to toss a review of Paranormalcy up on my blog? And/or perhaps Stephanie's book? Just wondering. :)

variousaltitudes said...

This was an amazing post, I hope you don't mind but I mentioned it in my blog. It's strange how many people seem to think that getting a book published is easy, and then ridicule those who do.

Thank you for this post.

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Here Here!

Jenna said...

It seems that in this day and age people can no longer be anything but neutral. I've read many other personal blogs where bloggers have to post pictures of messy houses, messy clothes, screaming kids etc..because people accuse them of having perfect lives. It really bugs me when people have to be so critical and simply can't take things for what they are.
I thought your post was real, encouraging and came from someone who had FINALLY! got through the long line, took the ride and is now passing back the word that the ride is worth it and to stick with it even though sometimes it seems other writers have Fast Passes.
It is posts like yours that encourage me to work harder, gives me inspiration and encouragement and a needed daily dose of humor. Thanks!

Geoff said...

Great post, Kiersten, so great I quoted it in my FB status. Feel honored. :D

But this wonderful post was made even more wonderful by the addition of a Flight of The Conchords video. Glad to know I'm not the only one who still loves those dudes.

Cheers.

G

Juliemybird said...

I might have to quote that short joke. I hear an awful lot of them (hello, five feet), and that's one of the best. The rest of the post was great, too. I've found that I can't even write if I think too much about publishing. All the stress kills the creativity, and who wants that? I'm writing because I enjoy it, and if no one ever sees it, at least I know I will have accomplished something personally. Also, way to incorporate Flight of the Conchords. :)

Jessica Bell said...

AW .. poor anon must be in a writing rut. But great to be brutally honest! I have a friend who waited TWENTY years to publish her first book. She write NINE novels to get there. Now that's determination!

Andrea Cremer said...

Flight of the Conchords <3<3<3
Also, fabulous post oh wise soulmate :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Wow. I vote for many honest Wednesday posts in the future.

On a side note, when my son was in pre-school, he filled out one of those mother's day papers that was supposed to list my favorite meal, flower, activity, etc. He wrote my favorite store was "short people's store". After months of trying to figure out what this place might be, I learned it was the school uniform shop.

Oh yes, gotta love buying school uniforms. His teacher, a colleague, told me she had to laugh when my guy asked her to spell "short people's store" for him because, you guessed it, I'm short.

Whirlochre said...

In praise of this post I was going to go with an analogy about gemstones — how each of your posts is like a gem and how all of the gems scramble to make it onto the Magicke Gold Tiara and how this gem of a post will probably sit in the centre in a band of Platinum — but then I beheld an all-singing all-dancing Disney lobster, flick-flacking from the CGI-waves and soaring high above all the other all-singing all-dancing Disney lobsters to somersault through a flaming hoop as drums rolled and fanfares blasted, and I would have commented something along the lines of and this post is such a high soaring all-singing all-dancing Disney lobster but by the time I got to the drums and the fanfare it had spiralled down from the far side of the hoop and landed on my head and now I can't remember what day it is.

JEM said...

I was hit over the head with a similar realization this morning, but you said it far more succinctly than I could. You are 100% right about the journey and the love of writing, and I'm trying desperately to bring myself back around to that feeling and away from this obsessive need to get published. Wise words for a Wednesday, I say.

Debra D. said...

Great post, Kirsten! I thought your Disneyland line analogy was pretty amazingly spot-on. Everyone has to wait, but you just never know who will get the shorter line or the longer one,and obsessing about it will only drive you nuts.

That said, while I agree that not everyone will get published, I think perseverance counts for A TON in this industry. The more we write, the more we grow as writers, the better our books get, and the more likely we're going to hit that perfect story at the perfect time.

Really, the only SURE way not to get published is to give up.

Summer Inc said...

Thanks for breaking it down (the road of a published author), and then taking a part to build it up (Flight of the Conchords song). hehe Get my reference.

Flight of the Conchords makes any harsh truth a lot easier to handle in my opinion.

Anne R. Allen said...

You've said it very well. So has Mr MacNish.

But an awful lot of writers can't hear this stuff. They need to believe the fantasy the way they see it on TV: nerdy kid writes book and becomes an overnight millionaire--forever superior to those little people who mocked him.

Last week Jim McCarthy said at least half of the queries he gets are for weak knock-offs of best sellers. That means half the people writing are writing to publish and not for the joy of it. If there's no joy--stop. Right now. Almost anything else will make you more money.

Stephanie Perkins said...

I rate this post: five out of five hearts!

(Except now I have just induced a new nightmare in which blog posts are rated. THAT WOULD BE TERRIBLE.)

Kiersten White said...

What, Steph?? YOU DON'T WANT MORE ARBITRARY RATINGS SYSTEMS IN YOUR LIFE? WHY NOT???

Also, everyone: You are WINNING with these comments. I have the best, most thoughtful, and most interesting readers ever.

Debra D. said...

CURSES! I just realized I spelled your name wrong...sorry, it's OTHER Kirsten's release week and I have Like Mandarin on the brain. (If it makes you feel better, I mentally mispronounce Kirsten's name all the time.)

=D

lora96 said...

I thought the Disneyland analogy was sort of cute and very evocative.

It's a shame when commenters wish to lambast a blogger but hide behind an anonymous tag. If you want to be rude, own it.

That being said, I'd love to cut in line...but I'm pretty sure I'd get tased.

Gina said...

People are so brave when they're anonymous.

So comparing publishing to the lines at Disney somehow translates to "I'm awesome and you're not?" I must not be too quick on the uptake, because I don't see it.

Cath's Chatter said...

firstly, it sounds like anon has a stick up his/her arse......
and secondly, I would have been in no way polite in my response to him/her...but for the purpose of your blog will keep it to a nice clean 'get knotted'

I'd just like to add that you seem to be a very NICE, CALM and RATIONAL, KIND and OPENLY FRIENDLY PERSON obviously everything that anon is not...
Its pure jealousy on their part, let them stew in their own juices. And you should continue to enjoy the successes that you so rightly deserve. ♥

Kristina Gilley said...

I think what you are saying here gives us sound advice, as well as a reminder of why we write in the first place. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

Ara Grigorian said...

The mark of any good post (philosophy, rant, or belief) is if said idea can be applied to other disciplines as well.

My day-job affords me the opportunity to build teams of very smart and dedicated people. Over the past 16 years of professional life, I've had the fortune of interviewing over a thousand very smart people coming from some of the best universities in the county.

I am disheartened when they come to the interview wanting to know how to get "there" faster. They are looking for the shortcut. They want to kiss up to the right people, say the one brilliant thing during a meeting, and have a chance encounter on the elevator.

This post is not too heavy for a Wednesday. It is important for people to know that the world does not function with shortcuts. And if it does once in a while, it's not sustainable. It is always about the hard work. Luck may come your way, but only the prepared can see the opportunity and do something about it (or not blow it).

Stephen King says that some things are like "playing darts in the dark. You may hit the mark, but you didn't deserve to."

I hope this message gets to everyone, in every role, in all capacity of professional goals and aspirations.

Kiersten, you're a rock star!

Chas Hathaway said...

Great point. An aspiring author has no control over what the industry wants, and it's possible that a work will never be accepted by a traditional publisher. You briefly mention self publishing. It's no easy way out, because it is TON OF WORK - but, it is a way out. It is a means to publishing. If a person loves writing enough that they are going to write book after book, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their work published, then they can be published. That's the beauty of self publishing. It is possible.

Self publishing requires more work for the author - more marketing, more networking, more everything else, in order for it to become a feasible lifestyle.

So for any who read this post (which is excellent, by the way), just know that self publishing is possible. Just do a TON of research on the topic and be flexible and creative - the methods vary much more than you might think. If you're willing to put in the work, research, time, and patience, you can still publish.

Remilda Graystone said...

Saw the comment. Yeah. You're being very kind, which is more than admirable. I hope Anon actually gets why you wrote up that post, and sees what you were trying to do, meaning HELP writers. Not belittle or discourage them. I understand being frustrated about the business and not getting anywhere, but I don't think taking your frustration out on people--especially those who were just trying to help--works. Then again, it might for others. It doesn't for me.

This isn't a business with shortcuts. There just aren't any. There's a waiting period for every step, and if you don't encounter it in one, you'll encounter it another. That doesn't change just because you want it to, so isn't it better to accept it and just keep working at your dream? It's all about patience, I believe, and with enough of it, I do believe anyone can get published. It just means you'll have to write a lot, a lot more than you probably ever dreamed of. But if you love it, it'll all be worth it in the end.

Anyway, great post. It's admirable you didn't lose it when I think it would've been well within your right to.

David said...

The "So You Want to Write a Novel" video that went viral a couple months ago seems appropriate here.

out of respect for Kiersten's site, I won't include the link - it's easily accessible on YouTube.

Julie Geistfeld said...

I think waiting in line at Disneyland is a perfect analogy.

We all know the ride will be fast, and fun, and over too quick (no matter how long it lasts.)
We all know the wait will be worth it in the end, or at least we'll say it was AFTER we're on the ride.
We all know that the ride can break down right before we get on, even after we waited an hour. That stinks! That ALWAYS feels completely unfair. It's the risk we take when we get in the line. Maybe this trip isn't our trip to ride that ride, but next trip will be, because you know we'll be back for more.
We all know that some people get a FastPass and zoom ahead of us. Maybe we'll be the one with the FastPass next trip.

To sum it up... your analogy rocks! Probably because you rock. You do.
Can I get a FastPass to meet your agent now? :o)

Julie Geistfeld said...

Hey, one more thing... we can use the wait time to complain about the wait time or we can use it to get to know other people waiting, talk to the friends we're waiting with, eat an ice cream cone...

Shout, hey, how was the ride, to the people getting off.

Hey, how's the ride by the way? I enjoyed that goofy picture of you screaming on the big drop, funny stuff!

Marsha Sigman said...

So really you should look at the waiting in line as it's own ride.

The last time I was at the amusement park waiting in line for the roller coaster, this group of kids in front of me starting singing 'Moving on up' and slapping a beat out with their hands. It was by far the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

The wait in line was a lot better than the actual ride. Maybe because I hate roller coasters?

I wouldn't hate getting published though. But that's not why I write. I write for that same feeling of amazement that I got watching those kids in line. Pure happy.

E.J. Wesley said...

Anon comments are great! That means you're big time and saying something of importance. People don't go out of their way to remain anonymous and comment unless you've moved them.

I think it's the highest form of flattery in the blog world.

Jade said...

You forgot to mention that if you are part of the YA Mafia, they shut down Disneyland so you can go on the rides in peace.

Sheepa said...

I really enjoyed reading that post! I mean, it's blogs like yours that show us authors powering through edit after edit and still being able to bring out another book after a year because they love writing. Good for you!
I'm not exactly a writer, so it's not something I will ever worry about, but I'm happy to be informed.

By the way, no offence, but I totally laughed out loud to your husband's joke :D It was a good one! I'm 5'1" so I'm practically laughing at myself ;)

Oh, and awesome video! Even though I kinda lost it after the monkey disease, or monkey blood or whatever that was, it was crazy! Haha! Loved it!

Anita Saxena said...

So I've been ice skating for twenty years, and people ask me all the time if I'm going to the Olympics. Heck no. I skate because I love to do it. And just because you skate everyday doesn't mean it's a golden ticket for the Olympics. Same goes with writing. I skate/write everyday because I love it. It makes me happy. Some people get it. Some people don't. And I sometimes feel sorry for the people who don't. You know, the people who sorry for me because I'm not in the Olympics or published. They probably think I've wasted all that time for nothing. But, in actuality I feel sorry for them. Because they probably don't have something that makes them happy like writing and skating make me (other than family and friends, which always come first).
Sorry for the longish comment. Great post.

Deb said...

Darn. it. I was hoping for the Disney ending, not the Disney line :P

Great post! And har har to your husbands joke! And of course now I have this image of you in the Disney line, jumping up, down, sideways trying to when it is your turn....no....wait. I imagine you put your head down and...wrote! Loved your book (as do the teens I talk to) AND squeee on Supernaturally making it's way out in August.

Cheers!

Liz P said...

This post gets a thumbs up.

I write because I love it. Publication is something to strive for, icing on the cake, but it's the process that I enjoy the most. If I never get published, that's ok! :)

Dara said...

Thanks for this!

And also, this is the 21st century. People can self publish now if they want to "skip" the traditional line. Of course that doesn't mean you'll be successful--it's a crap shoot there too and there's TONS more work you have to put into it to be successful. But if people are desperate to see their book in print, that's an option.

I'm still going to give it my all to go the traditional route, even if it takes me until I'm 40 (that gives me another 14 years, LOL).

Again, thanks for the post!

juanvillagrana said...

Thanks for the honesty, really.
Sure, it was a little discouraging, but in the end, it was totally worth it to know the darker side of things.
Thanks for posting this!
=)

Faith Pray said...

As I was reading your post, I kept discovering you were taking words right out of my head and phrasing them even better.
If we are writers, we can't help writing, can we? It would be physically painful to stop. I think I would self-combust.
You do seem so witty, clever and successful that it appears you have the leprechaun's pot of gold.
Thank you so much for graciously responding to that anonymous comment. Great words.

Claire Dawn said...

FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS!!!!

On a serious note, the internet is almost to the point, that if you say anything worth saying, someone gets offended.

We know you've put in the time. Especially those of us who wandered overhere before August last year.

Amber said...

Oof. As soon as you said "anonymous comment" I had to go check and see what it said because I DID link to that post on my blog, and I have a young writer friend who reads my blog on occasion, and has the occasional tenacity to be blunt and mean about things. Fortunately, the writing style does not match up. Phew!

However, what I wanted to comment on was your grace in reception. Rock on.

I came to the realization a while ago that I would keep writing even if I never got published. The back-up plan is to publish one copy of each manuscript under a penname and put it on my own bookshelf in hopes that my children will some day read it and say "this book is so cool, I want to meet this author!" *smirk*

Suzy Turner said...

So perfectly put! You certainly told 'anon' lol!

lovevein said...

Well, I have to say I'm glad for the negative comment (don't get mad at me just yet) because although I appreciated the "line" metaphor and what you were saying, and although I think that a lot of writers out there would benefit from what was said, I really, really liked the honesty of today's post. Just like in every business, there are a-holes that make it and angels that don't. (If you need an example of this, go watch American Idol.) As you pointed out, the important question is, why? Why are you writing? Who are you doing it for? And, even if you never get published, will you be proud of what you did? Because at the end of the day, it's you and a computer, or a piece of paper and a pen, and even the best efforts are a waste without the right motives. Which brings me to my last point: I appreciate the hell out of writers like you, Kiersten, because even if I never get published, I can be a part of the writing community through blogs like this one. Some people blog to hear themselves talk (or write, I guess, but you know what I mean). Some to help their career (which isn't bad necessarily, but in and of itself it's not a good enough reason). And some others blog because they care about their fellow writing friends. They take time away from writing books that make them money to give advice to writers that might never sell books that make them money, but the important thing is, maybe they will. For me, at least, I know that I would not and will not succeed without being humble enough to accept the advice of those that have gone before me in the line.

Tracey Neithercott said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time so I'm pretty sure you're guess is right: Anon has never read another one of your posts. Seriously, I can't imagine you being condescending--even if you were wearing 5-inch heals.

I think learning that this process takes time is hard, especially if you haven't been following the industry for a while. We all have this natural desire to see our books published, like, yesterday. It's important to know that's not the case, and I appreciate how honest you've been with these past posts. No, it's not fun to hear that you can't just sneeze out a manuscript and see it on shelves six months later but it's the truth. And we do this for the love of writing, not the money or awards or anything else.

Besides, if you want fast money, you're better of in Vegas.

tone almhjell said...

Yeah, I didn't hear condescending at all. Just your usual nice and funny.

But I happen to think that Wednesdays are great for brutal honesty. Still two days until the weekend, so plenty of time to get over the shock - and ONLY two days till the weekend and time off.

Perfect.

Bethany Mason said...

I am quite surprised at the comment as I've never found you to be condescending (and for what it's worth - I'm 4'10") but remarkably honest and inspiring.

Liesl said...

Amen! I think artists in general have some entitlement issues (or maybe it's an American thing?) and so I wrote a very similar post several months ago. No one is entitled.

http://writerropes.blogspot.com/2010/12/no-one-is-entitled.html

LinWash said...

Well said! You go, girl!

Michelle said...

"The vast majority of people writing who hope to get published will never get there."
Ouch... but I will live in hope and right because I love to write..
Great post.
xx

Mundie Moms said...

I'm all in favor of the brutally honest posts! You're not condescending at all. Your husbands short joke was hilarious. Short people stick together! LOL

Katrina said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and thoroughly enjoy it. I went to school with your sister Lauren; we were in student council together and I love her, so naturally I love you. Thanks for your fun posts and lovely book. I am looking forward to #2!