Saturday, October 29

8 Sobering Truths about Commercial Writing

First of all, let me say that I take NO CREDIT for this what so ever. I came across it by chance, and though it was so wonderfully appripriate for not only me, but so many of by bloggity friends, that I had to share it with you all. I tried to simply link you to the original blog post, but the link refused to work, so here it is. It was written by Steve Burks whom you can find at He has several other fabulous posts, so stop by and give him a look-see when you have a minute.

Without further ado, Steve Burks'
8 Sobering Truths about Commercial Writing

1. Almost everything's been written about already. Screenwriter Paul Schrader calls it "narrative exhaustion."

2. It doesn't matter what you think about your writing. The buyer's always right. So unless your instincts happen to jibe with what the editors and the masses want, you'll be doing a lot of guess work.

3. The same technology that enabled you to get in the game, did the same thing for millions of other people. Of course you're better than "them," but from the gatekeeper's point of view, allunsolicited submissions look identical in the slush pile and e-mail junk folder. And the market was already glutted before the digital revolution.

4. If you depend on feeling inspired to write, you're in trouble. It takes a long time to write a good book. You're not going to feel like doing it every day. If you can't wrap your mind around the concept of art as work, you'll never make it through a first draft, let alone revise it ad nauseum.

5. Getting information on how to write a good book is easy. Actually writing a good book is hard.

6. Gatekeepers expect you to suck. You can't beat perception. A referral from someone they respect would earn you the benefit of the doubt, but that someone must be an agent, editor, or published author. In other words, getting referred is just as hard as getting published.

7. Only great writers have no competition. Good writers still do, because there are enough of those around. So even if you don't suck, the competition is thick.

8. No matter how well you write it, someone will hate it. The flip side is, no matter how badly you write it, someone might love it, but that someone won't be an editor, so you'll never get a chance to find out.

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