Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Why Does a Writer Want to Be Published?
This morning, over on the BookEnds blog, literary agent Jessica Faust asks writers what makes them seek publication. Why do we go through the pains of seeking the publication of our stories? Why do we throw our shoulders back and plant our feet, knowing we will be getting lots of rejection letters? Sometimes our feet get in the door a little ways when an agent or editor asks to see a partial. Then they reject our wonderful story based on opening chapters and a synopsis. If we are lucky, we may get a request for a full. It's heart-wrenching when it is returned with a 'thanks but no thanks'.
Why do we put ourselves through it?
When I walk into a bookstore and my eyes scan the rows of novels, a sense of awe and longing overcomes me. It is difficult to explain the feeling. I'm sure I'm not the only writer that feels this way. The question that comes to my mind the most is this. How did all these writers get past all the roadblocks and make it to publication? There could be a hundred answers to that question, but one thing is certain...they did not give up.
Author Michelle Moran is an example of not throwing in the towel. She wrote 13 novels before having one accepted. You can read about her writing journey on Stepping Stones Magazine in the June issue. She is one of the most interesting writers you will ever encounter.
Anyway, the writing process is an incredible adventure. But when I write 'the end' and have polished a story, a stark white manuscript is not an end in itself. I can't let that stack of paper sit on my desk collecting dust. I seek publication because I am compelled to see my story as a 'book'.
Why do I want to be published? Perhaps to affirm that what I'm doing, all the time I've put into writing, is worth it. Perhaps it is to scratch out a bit of a living. But more so, it is because I want to take people away from their daily grind to an imaginary place where they can escape the world for a while.
I want to have the same effect on readers as Charlotte Bronte had on me when I first read Jane Eyre.
Posted by Rita Gerlach at 8:43 AM