Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rebel Yell: Part One--The Bad News

There are only so many seats on the boat and no one is willingly giving up theirs.  Worse still, more and more are taking up more than one seat, turning out anywhere from two or three to eight novels a year.  You can't afford a staff of twelve.  You don't have the time or the money to hustle at thirteen conventions a year.  Though you hate to admit it, you may have a job and not be able to write twelve hours a day, then spend six more hours on Facebook.  You don't have the connections to get through to the agents you most want to reach.  You're not cute enough to sell your butt.

All you have is the wonderful talent and drive that have fueled you for so many years.  And the blazing conviction that if you can be heard, just once--or one more time--you can set the house on fire and be The Next Big Thing.

The crappy news is you may not get the chance if you're even just way better than average.  Not in the traditional publishing scene.  And if your talent is unique, the odds against you rise still more--and you'll hear lamentable words such as these:  There's just no market for this kind of thing...You've written one of the greatest Christmas stories ever written--but one that may neve be published (this remark was made to me by one of the country's top agents, who'd sat on that novel for over a year without sending it out even once)...

The bad news is you may not get the chance to gamble, on stage, on receiving the brass apple instead of the hook.  You may die broke and unknown, with a trunkful of fabulous novels the world was just dying to read.

The bad news is:  that's possible because there are only so many seats. 

The better news, however, is:  it doesn't have to be that way.  If you've put in your time and you do have the stuff, the lifechanging decision that you need to make is:  how to get past the bouncers and onto the stage where your fate can be rightly decided.

For this week, remember:  There are only so manys seats on the boat and no one is willingly yielding.  Don't be bitter.  Understand:  you won't give up your place when you're seated.  And you will be seated if you'll return in one more week to hear The Better News.

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