Posted by: comfortjunkie | September 12, 2008


It’s not often that I see the sun rise. Despite its particular beauty this morning, I am still rather bitter about it. I woke up at 6am, while it was still dark. I was lying in bed and thinking about…work. I have a lot of work to do today, not just for clients (top priority) but for myself as well. As I tried to come up with any kind of imagined scenario that might capture my interest long enough to lull myself back to sleep, I failed dismally. Even reworking and revising my Oprah interview didn’t work. I got up and drank some cold water from the fridge, let the kittens out, went back to bed, tossed and turned and in the end, I got up at 6:40 am which is just sick and wrong. I’m a freelance writer for god’s sake! It was still dark when I made coffee.

So yes, yesterday a publisher contacted my agent about not only signing me for my book but for a potential series. This was very exciting…and so I chatted with my agent on the phone and then started to do my own research on the publisher. I was fortunate to get selected by the universally agreed upon, “worst publisher ever.” In emailing an author from their published titles, I received this back, “RUN! Don’t walk!” Encouraging. But still there are two positive things that came out of it yesterday: I now have some leverage to go back to my desired publishers and hopefully speed things up a little and I was able to experience what it felt like to read that someone wanted to publish my book. That was heady, let me tell you.

Speaking of encouraging, it seems like the current trend among writers is to suck the joy out of life for the people who are just starting out. I suppose in some way they think they are doing you a favor by being “realistic” about someone’s prospects of being a writer for living. It’s somewhere along the lines of, “all print media is in the toilet and soon there will nothing left to write because all writing online and everywhere will be taken over by legions of unpaid contributors and by the way, even if you do managed to get published, you will never, ever be able to support yourself by writing.” They are talking about writing books and magazine articles specifically, since there will always be a market for corporate writers such as myself.

There’s only so much gloom and doom that one can read without taking a hit emotionally from it. I’m a notoriously optimistic person about my work and believe with absolute conviction that what I’m doing is not only marketable but commercially viable as well. But under the weight of a daily onslaught of negative comments about the industry of writing and making a living at it, even I have begun to have niggling moments of self-doubt. I hate them for that, I really do and it’s hard not to categorize these Negative Nellies as jaded, unhappy writers disappointed with their own accomplishments. Why is it so hard for professionals to support each other?

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