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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Aspiring Authors, Are We All Crazy?

What does it say about someone who will plop themselves in front of a computer for thousands of hours, drafting a manuscript that might never see the light of day? I’ve been thinking about that lately and I’ve decided there is a degree of craziness there. Anyone who has actually written a novel knows it’s not an easy thing to do. What’s more, I don’t know any authors who found an agent or a publisher who didn't have a few novels that never sold: “Trunked novels” as they are often referred. 

So what is it that makes aspiring authors push forward after they’ve trunked a novel that took them months to create? What makes them think, “This time will be different.”?

If you’re thinking insanity, you and I are thinking along the same wave-length.

And don’t get me wrong, I am among the aspiring authors with trunked novels. I have a couple of them. They are bound and gagged and locked in a trunk marked “SHAME.” If either one tries to escape I will hunt it down and kill it.

A couple months ago I finished my latest manuscript – which puts my novel count at . . . quite a few. Some trunked, others waiting to be hoisted on unsuspecting children.  And what did I do when I finished it? I immediately started in on the next one. Only one thing can explain an action like that. You guessed it . . . Insanity.  

So what motivates you? Why do you, aspiring authors, write?


JeffO said...

Because I love it.

GaBbaP Gabbap said...

that was a good post. I always think about that as I write too. I have decided it's the dream. The dream of finally writing something that people will want to read. I haven't hit that yet. Still working on my first manuscript. I have been working on my manuscript for two years. the idea of trunking it makes me want to cry. But I do think most authors have a manuscrpt or two that they used as practice. Good luck wtih your latest books (:

HK said...

I have four trunked novels. I am working on my fifth novel that I hope will not be another trunked one. I don't think anyone other than writers can know what it's like to write a book. I think you're right that there is some kind of insanity involved. Don't they way, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

I'm with JeffO as to why, though (besides the obvious craziness), I just love it. Usually after its done and before it goes in my trunk. What I don't love is the 423 rejections I have from agents for all of my books. That's a lot of rejections.

HK said...

Cool blog by the way. Will be back.

Morgan said...

Oh dear... what a true post. I think there *is* a level of insanity there! But we must be addicted to it!

It's the challenge that drives me... the idea of conquering something where the odds are so against me... that, and the creative outlet I need to stay sane...

Thanks for this, Steven. Way entertaining post ;)

Cielle said...

It's true, we write because we want people to read, but this doesn't necessarily mean we have a need to be published. Publishing can be a recognition of that success. Your audience is bigger than when the novel is sitting in its trunk. However, there's also a basic need to tell the story, whether anyone listens or not. I started writing long before I had the notion to sell what I write.

Steven W said...

@JeffO - Indeed. There is that :)

@Gabbap - It can be painful to trunk a novel, especially one you've worked on for two years. Here's hoping you don't need to trunk yours. And thanks for the kinds words about the blog. Cheers

@HK - You, sir, are dedicated. Four trunked and 423 rejections? "Patience and perseverance" is clearly your mantra. I hope you have success with your latest WIP.

@Morgan - I agree about the challenge. There is a certain euphoria when I finish a manuscript. Thanks for stopping by :)

@Cielle - Good point. There are some people who write not for the need to be published, but rather for the need to tell the story.

Lisa M. Cronkhite said...

Because I love the escape! I enjoyed this post, Steve. Thanks for sharing it!

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