I wouldn’t recommend it, although it worked for me. It certainly could have blown up in my face, but wether it was sheer will and determination or dumb luck, I’ll never know. Here’s how it went…
I pitched an imaginary novel (as if it were done) to major NY publishers and agents at a writers conference in Chicago. I was shocked, delighted and appalled that everyone I pitched to asked for a full manuscript. After a brief and hopefully unnoticeable panic attack, I very logically explained to them that I needed to get the book professionally edited (real meaning–write it) and would have it to them in three weeks. What the hell did I have to lose? My sanity had been gone for years.
Having been an actor for umpteen decades came in handy. Clearly, pretending to smell delicious imaginary aromas in commercial auditions and becoming one with my inner lawn gnome in acting class, made my fear of telling ginormous lies nonexistent.
The next part of the story goes like this…I went home and wrote it. I didn’t sleep for three weeks, my family ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly and no one in the house had any clean underpants. I loved every minute of it. I ended up with several offers. I went with a three book deal with Kensington Publishing and HOW HARD CAN IT BE? was born.
That’s my crazy story, but the real answer to getting published is to write. Just write. Everyday. Every writer I’ve had the good fortune to know says the same thing. Oh, and read…tons.
Writing groups are a great idea too. I was such a nervous wreck about going to my first meeting with real writers that when I couldn’t find a parking space, I turned around and drove home.
Thankfully, I grew some bigger testicles and went to their next meeting. I met some of the neatest and most generous women. I learned to look at my writing with a more critical eye and grow thicker skin. In this group of amazing women, I found critique partners, cheerleaders and friends.
It’s empowering to be with others who share your passion, no matter where you are in your career. I highly recommend it.
I do believe writing the book of your heart is important, but knowing what’s marketable is not stupid. You may have a passion for the magical unicorns that helped win the Civil War by twerking through the South, but my guess is you won’t sell many books…
The publishing industry has changed and continues to change. With digital reading devices now in the game, viable options for writers are endless. I have extremely talented friends who publish traditionally through NY and equally as talented friends who are publishing independently. I do both and am a very happy camper.
The bottom line is that you have to write a good book and then you have to never give up. And while you’re never giving up, you have to write another good book and another and another… It’s a wonderful thing to have a job where you can work in your underpants.
Writing may seem like a solitary sport, but it’s not. A critique partner, other writing friends, spell check, Coke® with extra ice in a styrofoam cup and a great editor are just a few of the things I think every writer needs.
So that’s my romantic story and I’m sticking to it. I’m not sure how good the lesson is, but the ending is happy. I love happy endings.
I write because the people inside my head won’t leave me alone until I give them life on paper. My addictions include laughing really hard with friends, shoes (the expensive kind), Target, Coke Zero Cherry with extra ice in a styrofoam cup, bejeweled reading glasses, my kids, my super-hot hubby and collecting stray animals. A former professional actress, with Broadway, film and T.V. credits, I now live in the south with my family and too many animals to count. Writing gives me peace and makes me whole, plus having a job where I can work in my underpants works really well for me. You can leave me a message via the Contact Page on my website and I’ll get back to you as soon as my bizarre life permits! I love to hear from readers!
Love this blog post! I've read hundreds of books, to write one would be a dream come true!