Notes to an Aspiring Writer

Jan 9, 21:43 by IROSF
Thinking about becoming a writer? Talk back to Jay and Ruth in this thread.

The article is here.
Jan 10, 00:33 by Big Dumb Object
It's nice to hear other writers say these things. I find self doubt especially hard to cope with. I recently had a story sitting idle for a year because I thought it was rubbish, then decided to send it off the other week (New Year's Resolution!) and it's passed the first cut at a magazine with some nice comments.

So, thanks for the article. It helps!
Jan 10, 02:23 by Christina Francine
Yes, it is nice to hear other writers go through the same thoughts and doubts. It is a long and difficult road.

Sometimes publishing is pure luck (after you've learned your craft). Recently I was able to talk with an editor, and find my way out of the slush pile, purely because of someone I knew. Other than that I did nothing different. So yes, I agree with Jay and Ruth.
Jan 10, 04:36 by Terry Hickman
Stubbornness canNOT be over-rated for a writer. I've got that, in spades, and I've sold all of my stories that are at all salable; now I need to write more. Which brings me to #2: Butt in chair. I don't have that one down so well. But it's nice to get another reminder.

Ruthie and Jay have it right!
Jan 10, 13:14 by Josh English
Thanks for this article. It is always good to hear this kind of advice. It can be frustrating to know that a successful career cannot follow a time line.
Jan 11, 00:53 by Heidi Kneale
Knowing that it's officially acknowledged that the system is grossly unfair makes it easier for me to accept.

It's not out to get me, it's out to get everyone, so I don't feel so picked-upon and isolated.

I need to schmooze more.

Who wants to schmooze with me?
Jan 11, 01:32 by glenda larke
This is oh, so true, and it can't be said often enough. I am one of the stubborn old goats. Fortunately for me, I also have a wonderfully stubborn agent.

The first book I really got serious about selling was finally published 13 years after I first submitted it, and was short-listed for the Aurealis Best Australian Fantasy of that year.

Glenda Larke

Jan 11, 06:57 by A.R. Yngve
I applaud the harsh honesty of this article.
Envy is an evil and destructive instinct, and you must keep it in check.
Persistence is absolutely essential: it took me over 10 years from when I started writing novels, to when I first got a novel published with a small press.

Jan 11, 09:49 by Bluejack
One thing I will add is that schmoozing is neither necessary nor sufficient. It may add a little weight to some of the odds in some of the places, but it is by no means the answer.
Jan 18, 12:09 by A.R. Yngve
I only wish there was a way to deter aspiring BAD science-fiction/fantasy writers...

A few handy white lies if you meet such wannabes and they need scaring:

1. "Don't bother. Nobody makes any money writing this stuff anyway."

2. "It's all done with computers nowadays. 'Terry Brooks' is a box owned by Hewlett-Packard."

3. "Just between the two of us: When a woman hears you write sci-fi, she loses all sexual interest in you."

4. "Star Trek fans are profiled by the police as child molesters. If you write so much as a fanfiction and post it on the Internet, you'll end up on their list of suspects."

5. "Haven't you heard? Ever since the Japanese started making real two-legged robots, people stopped reading sci-fi."

Jan 18, 12:53 by Bluejack
A few arguments against this approach:

1) Sometimes bad aspiring writers become good writers.
2) There is plenty of discouragement along the road anyway; if someone persists past their first fifty rejections or so, then you're little white lies are unlikely to dissuade them.
3) Who is the arbiter of 'good' or 'bad', other than the editors who accept and reject material, and the readers who buy, or do not buy, material?

Jan 18, 18:20 by Lois Tilton
The reviewer, of course!
Jan 30, 13:50 by Kenny .....
I don't think there is always envy. When someone breaks in there is hope if they can do it so can I. At least that is my opinion. Someone recently broke into print and I was happy, not envious.
Feb 6, 08:17 by Robert Qualkinbush
I agree with Bluejack about bad writers becoming good
writers. I was editing a book with the first stories/poems
by Hemingway, James Joyce, Fitzgerald, etc.

Except for Hemingway's story written for his High school
magazine, they were pretty much all awful. Joyce's
poem was nauseatingly bad.

Good article, BTW.


Want to Post? Evil spammers have forced us to require login:

Sign In




NOTE: IRoSF no longer requires a 'username' -- why try to remember anything other than your own email address?

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now!

Problems logging in? Try our Problem Solver