Thursday, February 04, 2010

Fiction Writers are Optimists

Rick’s Tuesday post “Making Sense of it All” spoke to me and probably many other writers as well. After all, his comments had me asking a lot of questions about where the industry is headed and wondering if I’ll have a place in it.

Scary questions to say the least. But, truth be told, when the dust settles—in the wake of this recession and in the midst of this increasingly pressing need for writers to be fluent in the language of our electronic world—the publishing landscape might not be a very pretty sight.

However, I believe that writers—by nature—are optimists. We have to be. You’ve got be optimistic (and maybe even a little crazy) to try your hand at this game in the first place. Hell, we’ve all read THE GREAT GATSBY and HAMLET. We know we’re playing for second place. But we keep on. We write despite the odds, despite the rejections, despite the knowledge that Fitzgerald wrote sentences most of us can never hope to match.

My agent tells me there is reason to believe that this spring New York houses will once again be seeking new series. Good news for many writers.
But does that matter?

Not really. The great thing about what we do is that writing fiction is one of the few professions (especially the crime-fiction genre) in which you can constantly reinvent yourself. A new series. A new character. Even a new name.
The glass is always half full. If you didn’t believe that, you wouldn’t be writing.


Ann Elle Altman said...

I think you will always continue to write if you write because it's your passion. As a woman, I think I have an easier time getting published than Jane Austen and I think access to books have never been easier. I think because we live in a constantly changing world, we have to learn to adapt. And, for writers, change isn't always their favorite word.


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