Tuesday, September 18

Some Writers Deserve to Starve! - Elaura Niles

Subtitled 31 Brutal Truths About the Publishing Industry, this US-authored book aims to give would-be authors some well needed advice about the realities of modern day publishing. Niles has written 31 chapters, each summarised with a Truth (like #23 - Not All Critique Groups Are Critique Groups, or #14 - To Lie is Wrong, to Embellish Divine) that is then expanded upon, and often illustrated by her own experience in the world of writing.
The back of the book warns that this is "only for the bravest of writers", but I'm more inclined to say it's only for the most fledgling and unrealistic of writers. I don't doubt they're out there, but surely at least some would-be published writers already know that "Putting Words on a Page Does Not Obligate Anyone to Read Them" (Truth #2), "Overnight Success Doesn't Happen Overnight" (Truth #25), and "Writing Conferences Cost Bucks"(Truth #26) .
Maybe it's just that I, a writer of no fewer than two and a half NaNo masterpieces myself, am more pragmatic. I grant you, I've not exerted any great time or effort on publication, and so I'm missing the drive to write, write, live to write. Lynn is more involved in writing than I (more NaNo completions, a crit group member, winner of two short story competitions, organiser of another competition, member of a guild), but equally aware of Niles' Truths - and without having had the privilege of shelling out for the book.
For those writing with their eyes tightly closed, or spectacularly naive, this is probably a necessary shock of cold water. But for anyone (like me) looking for a book telling hopeful writers that it's time to pack it in and give up already, go to 101 Reasons to Stop Writing ("confronting the pandemic delusion of talent") instead: http://101reasonstostopwriting.com/ - Alex

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