How Not To Be Published (part 1)

Posted: November 28, 2010 in General, novels, writer, writing, Writing/Publishing

The writing world is full of how-to books and articles. How to write e-books. How to write for magazines. How to write a novel. How to write a query letter. How to write greeting cards. How to write Essays. The list is almost endless. But even with all the how-to help available, there are still those who talk about what they would like to write, but they never quite get around to it.

In honor of those folks, I offer you the only guide on How Not to Be Published. I guarantee that if you follow the steps which follow, you will not be plagued with contracts, checks, seeing your work in print, or having to make room on the shelf for yet another book, magazine, or other bit of writing.

The first step, while not terribly profound, is 100% effective. And the beauty of it is, it’s simple.

Step 1: Don’t Write

I told you it wasn’t terribly profound. But the fact is the best way for you not to be published is to not write. As the late author and editor, Charles L. Grant said often, “You can’t sell it if you don’t write it.”

I have never participated in a book signing or attended a conference where someone didn’t say, “I’ve got an idea for a (book, story, play, essay, bumper sticker, etc.). I think I’ll write it down one day. And while they are certainly very nice people, they usually don’t follow through. People who talk about writing something one day seldom make the leap to actually writing. It is easier to plan to write than to follow through. But if it is your plan to avoid publication, by all means plan a lot. Just stay away from the keyboard.

If, however, you skip the first step and find yourself at the keyboard anyway, there are a few things you should know. If you start writing on a regular basis, your writing will improve over time and you will find yourself better able to concentrate and develop ideas, characters, outlines, and all those other annoying things that can lead to publication.

(Stay tuned for part 2)

  1. Paula Petty says:

    Great post. I read something a few years ago that I remembered after reading your post. “The most terrifying thing to a writer is a blank piece of paper.” I look forward to the next part.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s