Wednesday, 7 December 2011

10 Ways to Stay Unpublished

1. Don't write anything.

2. Don't write anything anybody else likes.

3. Don't send anything you (might) write to an agent and/or publisher. Only other people get signed up anyway.

4. Don't enter writing competitions.  Somebody else always wins.

5. Sign up for every writing magazine going - they'll be handy to make kindling from in the winter.

6. Make sure 98 percent of your Facebook 'friends' are proper published authors.  Read of their success. Sigh.  Repeat.

7. Read books that suck.  Beat yourself up that you didn't have the nerve to send off a sucky book to anybody (because you followed rules 1-3 above. Either that or you're a Double D-list celebrity who's cashing on on Christmas. But let's not get bitter. You could just be a crap writer).

8. Write crap.

9. Watch repetitively mind-numbingly destimulating reality TV shows and debate the meaning of life from behind a cushion of shame.

10. Sign up to do NaNoWriMo, add some buddies, read the messages on the forum, wonder if you might like to join your local writing group who meet up in Starbucks every Sunday morning, read some excerpts and watch their wordcounts soar. Decide you're better off staying in bed, beating yourself up and reading crap until 1st December.


15 comments:

Sandra Davies said...

Guilty of at least 3 and 4, don't know about 2 (one out of four of my family read my stuf and say they like it). Guilty of 7 too.
And I was surprised to learn that just 14% of NaNo entrants actually get to the 50,000 total.

Helen Black said...

The best advice you can give any writer is...write and lot and send it off.
HB x

Fiona Faith Maddock said...

This is a great post. I woke up in a fairly bad mood this morning and your tips have dispelled it.

Phillipa said...

Love this post! I'm published and I still do some of these things (hopefully not the one about not writing things people like!) but the others - not sending things off and feeling overawed by all the success of other writers!

Phillipa said...

PS I do know a few people who write things that people won't like because they look down on the books that a lot of people like reading - then they rant that no commercial publisher (or even literary publisher) will touch them...

Sarah said...

Before I read this, I wasn't going to bother entering a science fiction short story competition with a closing date next week on the grounds that I'm the one who sometimes gets short-listed, but never wins first prize. I even have a really good idea for this particular comp. ...Six days left. Get on with it girl.
And thanks for the post :-)

Maggie May said...

I know in my heart that you have to get on with it and write - bums on seats and all that. But after a really productive summer, all my stories came rushing back through the letterbox, and this can be very demoralising. I've had a little success with letters and a poem, but it's that elusive first short story in print that still eludes me.

Anonymous said...

Debs, i have to say i find reality shows incredibly inspiring for my characters!

Great post.

Sam x

Debs Riccio said...

Fiona and Sarah - I'm delighted to have been of some (productive) assistance! I wrote this in a bad mood, feeling sorry for myself etc but it's not until you see something written down that you realise how simple it really is. Onwards everyone, and don't forget, it only takes ONE yes!

Fionnuala said...

Love it... guilty on all counts your honour x

Roderic Vincent said...

If you never submit, you never get rejected. That's why I've given up. Staying unpublished is definitely the way forward.

Roderic Vincent said...

(As far as novels go)

Debs Riccio said...

Rod, I have to say I'm kinda with you on this but YOU shouldn't give up - you just SHOULDN'T!

Gillian McDade said...

Onwards and upwards is what I say. Another little tip - just do one thing every day to move your writing forward, whether that's visiting a website or sending off a submission. Just do it, as the Nike ad reminds us!

Susie Nott-Bower said...

A score of five for me *sigh*.
Susiex