Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Writing...and Publishing

We attended a writing conference this summer. I had an online class working on a specific manuscript. We met monthly to critique (in the nicest possible way!)and we still love to write. Some of us make progress on big projects. Some of us flit from one little project to the next. And we still love to write.

It would be so...urbane? sophisticated? mature?... of us to simply love writing and do it for its own sake! And never care if the only people who read it are our families and critique group.

Here is my dirty secret: I want to see the Javalina Brothers in a school library. I want Victoria Dragon to be on the display table at Borders. I want a stuffed Tuk-tuk! Under all the "love to write" is a desire to move to the next step: getting published.

So every year I wait for the Children's Writer's Market to emerge and - clutching my yellow highlighter - I flit through the first pages of the Publishers Index knowing somewhere is the editor who is waiting for Danny Lion! Flitting becomes slogging very quickly as one entry after another "is not accepting..." Well, think of all the time I have saved by not contacting THEM! Or them. Or them...

Ah, the route - they say at conferences - is long and difficult. We noticed. Is it interminable?

So I am trying this year to squelch the Insane Hopeful Direct Publisher Contact Gene that drives me to the SASEs and focus on agents. Most of them take e-mail. All have websites and useful contact information. Many have not said "no" yet...

So that is hopeful...


  1. I'm with you Robin. I share your dirty little secret. And at the same time also want a stuffed Tuk Tuk. I applaud your decision to change your course of action although you don't have to give up on the direct publisher contact route to do it, do you? Couldn't you do both? I thought it was interesting what Stephen Barbara said about figuring out who successful authors used as their agent. Now I will stop babbling...

  2. what's that saying? what do you do if you fall down 7 times? you get up 8 times! seems like what the trying to get published aspect is like. i really feel it will happen for you. look at all the crap that is out there because of luck or working hard on minimal talent. you have talent and are working hard, now just a dash of luck. in my past professional life, we tried to emphasize process at least as much as product, if not more. whatever winding twisty way this takes you, you will find something in the journey.