The Writer’s Lot-tery

By way of Grumpy Old Bookman, I was inter­ested to read an art­icle by The Book Babes about what factors are involved in mak­ing or break­ing a book. I guess it is the wont of any writer to engage — usu­ally with a great deal of frus­tra­tion — with the pub­lish­ing industry and attempt to ‘crack’ it: that is, find the secret door through you may pass your book to a caring pub­lish­er who will help you mar­ket your work.

The art­icle quotes the author Jim Lynch:

It almost seems like you to have to bor­der on obsess­ive-com­puls­ive per­son­al­ity dis­order to suc­ceed,” says Lynch, who believes that the key to suc­cess is not only per­sever­ance but also the abil­ity to ignore how much “ran­dom crap” gets pub­lished and sells very, very well.”

When I finally came to peace with my nov­el-writ­ing obses­sion was when I came to the con­clu­sion that it is my job/goal to write a nov­el good enough to deserve get­ting on the pub­lish­ing roul­ette wheel. That’s really all a writer can do,” he observed in an e-mail mes­sage. “The rest, to some degree, is up to tim­ing, luck, con­nec­tions etc. And if you start dwell­ing too much on what it takes to get pub­lished or read­ing too much into what gets pub­lished or what does well, I think it not only hurts your chances of writ­ing some­thing strong and ori­gin­al, but it also nudges you closer to the writers’ ward of the nearest men­tal hos­pit­al.”

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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