From Storytellers Unplugged. Gulp!
A good, legitimate agent has about a 98 percent rejection rate. This is why you must play the numbers (and write a professional query letter and an excellent book). Many writers will give up after ten or twenty or fifty rejections. This is not enough. You should aim for at least a hundred. You should resign yourself to the fact that finding the right agent is a process that could easily take one year or longer. By that point – especially if you never got to first or second base before the frustration of being cut off – it might be time to either massively revise the manuscript or retire it as a ‘practice novel’ and begin something new. There is no shame in this. It is part of the learning process. We all have our rejections, our near-misses, our heartbreaks. You have to crack some eggs and Rome wasn’t built in a day and if it came in a bottle everyone and their Aunt Edna would be a published novelist. Etcetera.
Et in arcaedia, ego
…I was just talking with a client who mentioned that he had 49 rejections of his manuscript before it sold. And one of those rejections was from our agency. We’re a few books into that series now and having a blast.
And if that’s not enough evidence of how wacky this publishing gig is, try finding the story of how Tom Clancy first got published.
I’m just sayin’.
this story today on NPR, it reminded me how much I want to learn how to knit.
Eden and Caren are knitters…I should learn from them.
from one of my favorite blogs Critical Mass
“Dame Edith Sitwell used to lie in an open coffin for a while before she began her day’s writing.”
“Amy Lowell, “enjoyed smoking cigars while writing, and in 1915 went so far as to buy 10,000 of her favorite Manila stogies to make sure she could keep her creative fires kindled … “
“Voltaire … used his lover’s naked back as a writing desk …”
“Both Dr. Samuel Johnson and the poet W.H. Auden drank colossal amounts of tea — Johnson was reported to have frequently drunk twenty-five cups at one sitting. Johnson did die of a stroke, but it’s not clear if this was related to his marathon tea drinking.”
“Victor Hugo, Benjamin Franklin, and many others felt that they did their best work if they wrote in the nude. D.H. Lawrence once even confessed that he liked to climb naked up mulberry trees — a fetish of long limbs and rough bark that stimulated his thoughts.”
“Colette used to begin her day’s writing by first picking fleas from her cat …”
“Stendhal read two or three pages of the French civil code every morning before working on The Charterhouse of Parma — ‘in order’ he said, ‘to acquire the correct tone.’ “Willa Cather read the bible. …
“Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, and Truman Capote all used to lie down when they wrote, with Capote going so far as to declare himself ‘a completely horizontal writer’ … “Thomas Wolfe, Virginia Woolf, and Lewis Carroll were all standers … “Benjamin Franklin, Edmond Rostand, and others wrote while soaking in a bathtub …”
“T.S. Eliot “preferred writing when he had a head cold. The rustling of his head, as if full of petticoats, shattered the usual logical links between things and allowed his mind to roam …”
Wow. Something to dream about…Jen and Mark at Art Camp.
What I Did at Summer Writers’ Camp
For writers, nothing compares with that rare feeling of isolation and immersion where work begins to seep into every corner of your life. Hence that most coveted retreat: the artists’ colony. Part monastery, part summer camp, colonies give writers a clean, well-lighted room of their own, three square meals a day and a few dozen creative types to share them with. It’s a strange chemistry — artists alone, together. And just imagine the possibilities for capture the flag! Abstract vs. figurative painters, writers of nonlinear narratives vs. composers whose chords never resolve, nature poets vs. urban photographers. Quirky and bucolic, artists’ colonies have given rise to friendships, rivalries, and more than a few torrid love affairs.
In the United States, the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H., and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., are considered the gold standard. With its 32 cabin-studios in the woods, MacDowell is said to foster an austere New England work ethic, while Yaddo, on a 400-acre estate not far from the Saratoga racetrack, has a more urbane feel. Both provide room and board for 30 or so artists, including writers, visual artists, musicians and composers at all stages of their careers. They are accepted for residencies of up to two months a year based on a sample of their work and letters of recommendation, and attendance is free. (MacDowell and Yaddo, like most colonies, are nonprofit organizations that rely on private philanthropic largess.) They have limited phone and Internet access and don’t allow guests, children or pets; significant others can attend only if they’ve also applied and been accepted.
From the blog Pub Rants. I can’t believe someone would be this bold…ok, I can, but it still surprises me.
STATUS: Sara and I are still chuckling over a query received this morning that was a real gem. It opened with “do I have the balls to take on a real writer.” Uh, well, if you looked at my website you would see that I am a woman. I guess the answer would be no. It got even better. This person reminded me that I should be thankful that I was queried for such a terrific project. Good because I needed the reminder. The writer also used three obscenities in the query—including the “F” word. Honestly folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Oh dear, this is too funny. I just finshed reading this book for the FIRST time this week. I can’t imagine hiding it in MATH class!
The First Lady’s Steamy Book Report
“I will admit to reading books like ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ in high school, where you had a fake cover on the outside of the book and read it during math,” she says, adding that it seemed “risque at the time.”
Was the once-banned classic the steamiest novel she ever read?
“Probably not,” she replies breezily. “I’ve probably read some steamier since.”
Steamier? Like what?
Mmm. A delicious lunch spot in Allentown. And it seems like EVERYONE knows this!
Today whilest Mark and I stood in line, we noticed right in front of us, two of my co-worker friends Jen and Caron. Chatting away we were, when Mark said “I think that’s Pundit up at the register.” And LO! Pundit it was, along with Geek!
After choosing to sit with the men instead of the ladies (sometime Mark needs the manly bonding) we turned the corner to find Newell and the Gang.
Impromptu lunch meet up with the online-sters. And that is why I love this small town city. You DO wanna be where everybody knows your name!
Have you heard of it?
|| One Story is a literary magazine that contains, simply, one story. Approximately every three weeks, subscribers are sent One Story in the mail. This story will be an amazing read.Each issue is artfully designed, lightweight, easy to carry, and ready to entertain on buses, in bed, in subways, in cars, in the park, in the bath, in the waiting rooms of doctors, on the couch in the afternoon or on line at the supermarket.
And of course, they have a blog too!
I’m Gretchen Rubin.
I started out as a lawyer. At Yale Law School, I was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and won a writing prize. I went on to clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court.
I had a great experience in law, but I realized that what I really wanted to do was to write. Since making the switch, I’ve published four books. I’m currently working on The Happiness Project.
I’m working on a book, THE HAPPINESS PROJECT--a memoir about this year, during which I’m testing every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study I can find, whether from Aristotle or St. Therese or Martin Seligman or Oprah. I’m gathering these rules for living from everywhere I can, and I’ll report what works and what doesn’t. This happiness blog is part of my larger project.