Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just write the damn book

In NOVELIST'S BOOT CAMP, we offer strategies and techniques to help an author complete a quality, well-written book-length work of fiction.

In other words, to just write the damn book.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a "just write the damn book" kinda guy.

One hazard of reading too many listserv discussion threads is that one's blood pressure can go up. Some recent discussions on these lists have carried on--and on and on--about the legitimacy or lack thereof of different forms of publishing.

After reading these discussions, I can offer what I think is a solid piece of advice:

Just write the damn book.

The means by which your book length work of fiction is printed is no indicator of the quality of writing.

A big advance and national distribution are not guarantees of quality writing.

Just write the damn book.

Having the imprint of an independent, small publishing house is no guarantee of quality writing.

Just write the damn book.

A contract from a specialty (mystery, romance, Sci Fi, etc) publisher is not a guarantee of quality writing.

Just write the damn book.

A self-published, co-op published, vanity published, or any other kind of published book is no guarantee of good writing.

None of the above publishing venues are guarantees of bad writing, either.

Just write the damn book.

If you have a day job--and most of us do--and it makes you miserable, then you either change your attitude, change your environment (change jobs), or remain miserable. We can change jobs, change our attitudes, even change our lives, but changing the publishing industry may well take more than a lifetime. And life is entirely too short.

Just write the damn book.


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