A Published Author’s Rant
You know I like to rant now and then, right? But I’m not the only one who gets the privilege! A friend of mine, who shall forever remain anonymous, sent the following rant about the pitfalls of being published.
I finally have a non-fiction publishing contract. I’ve been pursuing this for more than ten years—attending writers’ conferences, receiving rejections, building my platform brick by brick, taking criticism and harsh words from critique groups, and writing, writing, writing . Slowly but surely, my platform has grown and I am now speaking to audiences of hundreds and sometimes thousands (instead of twenty or thirty). Along the way my writing improved. It all paid off. I finally got a contract!
Now… people I know assume that my life is perfect and small animals sing and dress me in the morning. These are mostly writer-friends who are still pursuing publication. With them, I am not allowed to say that it’s STILL hard work (which it is) because it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m not allowed to say that even though I have a two-book contract, I am struggling to get my 3rd and 4th books sold, and it’s just as hard and frustrating. There are so many people who are desperate to be published, I should just shut up and be happy.
And trust me, I am happy. I am singing from the rooftops happy.
But I don’t like the feeling that I should be apologizing for getting a book contract when I have worked so hard to get here. I’m extremely thankful, but not apologetic. It seems to me that some writers feel like they are “owed” a publishing contract that is unfairly being kept from them. I’ve never felt entitled to be published. I’ve felt the sting of hundreds of rejections, and although it has hurt me more than I care to admit, I ultimately kept going.
Of course, I’ve also met a lot of writers who aren’t complainers and don’t have a sense of entitlement, but are simply frustrated with the process. I definitely feel your pain. Trust me, I had a LOT of ideas rejected. I could have given up long ago, but I was just stubborn enough to keep going. If you continue to believe that this whole writing-publishing path is for you, then I hope you don’t give up either.
Please don’t hate me because I’m finally getting published. As I commiserate with your struggles, could you commiserate with mine, too? We are all in this together. Let’s keep supporting each other and rooting each other on.
I am not the enemy. It’s those evil agents and editors you should be angry with… but that’s a different rant!