Lately, I have been thinking about what I have learned about professional writers and what I am still ignorant about or ‘not getting’ or ‘not doing properly’. In good news, I have managed to connect with a number of more advanced professional writers and authors.
Here is some of the basic drama: 1) there are the journalists who have been paid writers for 15 years and still feel their egos have been battered because it was 6 years at the newspaper or magazine before they were allowed a byline and they still as if their management scoffs at them when they tried to say they wanted to earn money with a book they author off the newspapers’ clock. Not only that, but their parents and spouses look at them as if they are pathological to suggest that writing a book might make them money when they have a good job as a writer as it is. 2) There are novelists who are housewives who’s husbands support their habit, or did until they had learned enough marketing and secured enough support from publishing house editors to actually make money selling their novels. These women are usually unwilling to tell a beginning novelist anything aside from ‘work on improving your query letters’ which is excellent advice but might be like telling horny 20 year olds to just go get married. 3) Experienced mid list authors with good day jobs and personal lives. They will also normally tell you to work on your query letters. 4) There is Writer’s Market, which tells you which publishers only accepted agented authors and which ones will actually look at your query letter or book proposal without your having an agent. 5) There are freelancing opportunities – how to deal with that depends on a variety of other factors which are all relevant but may make it seem like getting advice from a babbling oracle or Wiccan divination expert is the best way to know what to do. 6) There are agents – they even advertise or make themselves apparent to at least some people. They want to help and want good writers. People may or may not be shy or female. 7) There are editors at publishing houses. 8) You can talk with other novelists until the cows come home, but that doesn’t necessarily get you an agent or editors at publishing houses to see your query letters or talk to you about getting you paid as a writer. 9) Sometimes one just needs to call and share the story idea in less than 45 seconds which can really be done even though the good draft is 100,000 words long.
That is some of the basic, important information out there.