Friday, 18 September 2009

A writer's work is never done...

"Eleven hours I spent to write it over" - King Richard III

In today's news: area man loses job, gains opportunity to become professional freelance wordsmith.

Things were clearly not working out with the Davis Food Co-op. Christine has been badgering me for over a year to start working full-time as a writer. I am now in a position to report that I have made a start in this direction.

One of the things I've been up to lately is writing articles on my beer blog, reading the Writer's Market and plucking up the courage to write my first query letter to a publication. Oh, and I'm no Shakespearean scrivener, either; this one has so far taken be over a day to not write.

Articles is one matter, seemingly, the first letter requesting work is quite another. I can happily churn out thousands of words a day when on good form, six hundred when I'm not, but a couple of hundred to an editor? There's the mountain I needs must climb.

Were I gifted with courage and self-confidence, this chore would be a delight, there'd be no need of the spoonful of sugar, for the medicine itself would suffice to please the palate. In short, I can't write a simple letter to say "Hey! I can write stuff, how can I write for you?"

So I've created a web presence advertising my writing skills, but for now I sit in front of my computer electronically penning these words while opportunities are growing cold somewhere. Sooner or later I will get up the courage to churn out those vital paragraphs. Film at 11.


Anonymous said...

and are you no longer at the co-op?-- lizard

Anonymous said...

I followed links all over the place. You aren't writing on the uk one any more. Interesting how it's all linked. -- luddite lizard

wertperch said...

I'm not writing at the UK one for several reasons; one is that I lack the time, the other is that I'd need to update the software for that blog first.

What with my beer blog, this one and Everything2, I'm swamped.

One the subject of links, that's what drives traffic.

oakling said...

I like to pick new year's resolutions that are really projects that I can tackle bit by bit as I have the time over a year.

One of mine this year was to actually send out query letters. I have spent A LOT of my life putting all kinds of false, imaginary, ludicrous psychological barriers between me and getting published. I think "no one will ever want to publish this," "I would need some kind of CREDENTIALS" to get published," "I know! I should go write a blog and get followers and get famous and then publishers will come GET me! And if they don't, it means I would never have gotten published anyway!" And other such bullshit. And maybe I send out one query letter or proposal every couple of years, get rejected, and give up again.

And over and over, lately, I hear published writers bemoan how they got EIGHTEEN rejections or a couple of DOZEN rejections before they fiiiiinally got published. And I think to myself: "I COULD SEND OUT EIGHTEEN LETTERS/PROPOSALS." I mean once it's written and a list of publishers and agents is assembled, all that is actually physically in the way of sending out dozens of the suckers is POSTAGE. I can buy postage!!

So here is my proposal: Sure, you have a million things on your plate. You have a ton of more pressing and stressful things to deal with than getting published. But that just means that this is the PERFECT TIME to try, because getting rejected can pale into insignificance next to everything else you are dealing with! (This is the nihilist's pep talk.)

How would you like to be QUERY LETTER BUDDIES? We could have some sort of mutually chosen commitment of a certain manageable number of query letters/book proposals to send out every month (ten, one, a quarter of one, a twelfth of one...) and check in before and after (by email, phone, in person, whatever) to say that we've done it. Yes no?