Sunday, January 08, 2006

Tell me again, why do I want to be a writer?

::grabs bunch of needles to poke into own eyeballs, and chainsaw to cut off own arm:: <--cause, I'm into this whole masochist thing, evidently....


On a different 'non painful' topic, Karen Templeton has an interesting post up where she asks: who are the possible big names (a la Nora, Jenny, Susan) of this generation of romance writers? Diana Peterfreud weighs in with a well thought out answer on her blog. My answer takes the form of linking to others because of that, you know, congenital, inherent laziness thing I have. ;-)
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Jaye Wells said...

I'm sorry. I know it's a tough business. But I have trouble mustering tears for the whole "Boo hoo I have more book contracts than I can deal with" lament.

I am sure that writer, like all of us, YEARNED to be in that exact position not so long ago. Not that she can't vent, but you're not gonna get a lot of sympathy from people who can't get more than a photocopied rejection from eds and agents.

Jaye said...

True enough, Jaye. But having had a pretty intimate relationship with stressful situations myself(especially those that are outside your power to control) I could sympathize with her frustration. :-P

Plus, it was another reminder that it isn't all champagne and acolades, or whatever. I'm a glass-half full type person, so I like reminders like this. Which I think is more what she was trying to get across to the uninitiated, rather than a 'woe-is-me!' type thing. (for me, at least.)

Jordan Summers said...

I took it more as a cautionary tale than anything and she's absolutely correct.

raine said...

Where's that chain saw? :-/

PBW said...

Why does anyone want to be a writer: so we can work in the nude, of course.

Jaye Wells wrote: "Boo hoo I have more book contracts than I can deal with"

What? What? Let me see this post.

From the article: "That's because publishers don't want writers who can't keep books coming at designated intervals."

No, publishers want writers who can fulfill their committments. If you can't write two books in a year, don't sign a contract with those deadlines.

I need an aspirin.

Jaye said...

PBW, I really think this is a cautionary tale. A newbie writer gets a 2 book contract and thinks s/he has 12 months to write each book. Downward Spiral (who I don't know, btw) has given us the more realistic portrait of that scenario. The lessons learnt? Well she said the first one right off the bat. Don't book that 3 week vacation, just yet. :-P Most likely you'll be writing that 2nd book in less than 6 months. And it just might not be the book that you'd planned to. So, lessons #2 & #3, you need to master your writing speed, and you need to be flexible, able to compromise, work on your plotting skills, etc. If they don't like the 1st proposal for the second book, you'll have to come up with a second one toot sweet!

PBW said...

Jaye wrote: PBW, I really think this is a cautionary tale.

I have some serious doubts about this blogger, who is supposedly a twenty-year vet of the business. Yet is willingly paying a freelance editor to revise a manuscript on the advice of her publisher as her editor is too busy? Either the author is incredibly naive, lying about the experience, or works for a miniscule press that's ripping her off big time.

For those who are taking this blogger's words of widom to heart, let me repeat this warning for the millionth time: Unless you choose to self-publish with a vanity press, you never pay a publisher anything to be published.

downward spiral said...

Hi, Vanessa --
I appreciate the link and your comments. I've posted a response to this thread on my site.


PBW said...

Jaq, I hate using someone else's comments for a clarification issue, but this spiral person may delete my comments over on that blog, so I'd like to post them here as well to clarify some things.

My comment to spiral:

Normally I don't respond to this kind of thing, but you made two mistakes in your post. The correct acronym is PBW, not PBR. It's also a well-known fact that I don't approach other authors for blurbs, and unless you're Sherrilyn Kenyon, my editors haven't approached you, either, so don't insinuate that I have.

Stop paying to get published. It isn't how it works.

Demented M said...

Okay, true or not, now I'm kind of freaking out. Is the kind of timeline described there a possibility? Can an agent negotiate something sane?

I mean, I have a fulltime job, I doubt I would be able to accomodate such short notice from a publisher.


tambo said...

Michelle (and everyone)

All editors are different, all contracts are different, and all writers are different. For my first three books, I shot a SHORT one sentence or so concept idea, usually over food, editor and I batted it back and forth, then I went and wrote it. This is BEFORE I've turned in the previous book, and it was verbal. My life isn't perfect, my contract wasn't written buy sparkling writer gods, and hell, I'm still new at this.

Get a contract (or contracts) you can work with, and editor you can work with, and just write it.

There's also an amazing amount of flexibility, especially if you've established a reputation to produce. I have so far had NONE of the problems the blogger has mentioned, and I'm proposing concepts for 6 books this spring. My editor even told me she just needs the same loose, brief concept as before, only in writing so she has something to take to the table.

It's all what you make of it. If you don't like the contract or the deadline offered, let your agent know before you sign.

Demented M said...

Okay, thanks Tambo!

Kate R said...

I had to write my second book (Somebody to Love) in four weeks because I didn't pay close enough attention to the contract.

I learned that I can produce 30 pages a day but I don't like it.

Kate, who's not PBW (in experience or speed) by a longshot.

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