A Little Housekeeping

Federalist AnchoviesSomeone besides the blessed rah-rah football site deigned to publish something I wrote. I’m never very comfortable trying promote my stuff, which is stupid.

I remember a really successful writer talking to a group of fairly newly published authors and a few hopefuls like myself. It was more like he was holding court. He had opinions on everything from when to break with conventions to how to choose an agent. It was remarkable how well thought out those opinions were, but he’d been in the business of writing for at least forty years at the time.

One of the things that stuck with me was his response to a question about what to do with something you’ve written but don’t believe will sell.

“Are you an editor?” He asked. Or something in that direction. This is all paraphrased from memory.

“No.” said the questioner.

“Then stop acting like one. Send it out to an editor and let them do their job.” He told her. “Maybe they say no, but there’s a hell of a better chance of getting something published by sending it out than by keeping it in shoebox under your bed.” I’m not paraphrasing the “shoebox under the bed” part. I specifically remember him saying that, and saying it emphatically.

What followed was a practical symposium on why we write. He took into account that some people write with the intent of clarifying their thoughts with no intention of ever showing anyone the finished product. That’s all well and good, but the question he had trouble wrapping his head around was why anyone would write a story and then not share it. The story already exists in your head. The whole act of putting pen to paper is taking what you have imagined and presenting in a form that others may relate to and enjoy. If you don’t intend to share, why bother.

So I wrote this silly little essays about the frustrations of being an anchovy pizza lover. I didn’t think it had much of a market, but then I’m not an editor. Thanks, Mike. I doubt I would have sent it out without your advice.

Now go read my silly little essay.

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