4.21.2007

It's just words

You've given yourself a challenge when you decide to write a book.

I think it's the art form that looks easiest. After all "it's just words"; how hard can it be. That very simplicity is the challenge. It's just words. No pictures, no sound, no costumes, no actors, no musicians, no frame in a gallery, no special effects wizards at Lucasfilm to build on your artistry to make it complete. Just words.

Every time you read one of my posts about nitwiticisms, or I sound cranky as hell, remember, I would not have a job doing work I love were it not for you.

We, the non-writer people of publishing, don't say that often enough. We certainly add value. We certainly help you. In the end however, this entire industry is an upside down triangle and the point we all balance on is your writing.

We need your words, and we need you to write them. Don't ever forget that.

42 comments:

Chumplet said...

Why do you always do this right after I've had three G&T's?

I heart Miss Snark.

Keepin' the words coming.

Angela said...

Awww....thanks for writing that!

Christopher M. Park said...

Well said.

Susan Curnow said...

Exactly. It's never 'just words'. It's the passion behind them. The frustrating thing is, it almost never is in the right order for a publisher/agent. I can honestly say I have an 'audience' for what i write, but it isn't the audience the agent sees. Why? Because I can't sell myself and my work. This is what I find frustrating about the whole business. You, obviously, have to look at it from a business point of view, but when you write a book, one doesn't. Not until, at least, one decides they'd like to share the pearls of wisdom, or simply the adventure. And, whatever genre or literary pearls it is, the whole thing is so damned subjective.

What's the answer?

There isn't one, I don't think, except sheer damned persistance.

FurryMuse said...

It's been a crappy week and I reeeeely needed this.

Thank you.

McKoala said...

Aw gee, you make me feel like less of a nitwit even when I am one.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

I think Miss Snark has been imbibing. Such kind words sound so odd coming out around those pointy teeth.

Anonymous said...

Forget what? I forgot.

It never ceases to amaze me that people pay for words.

After all, anybody can write.

Lynne said...

Thanks so much.
But will you still be supportive when I title my next book "Rabbitania"?

I'm serious.

I write children's books, which may make it more understandable-- or perhaps it's just that I'm sleep-deprived and well into the final stages of panic over a looming deadline. But this word keeps echoing...

Heatherlynne said...

(Wiping tears away) I feel so much better. Thanks for this.

susan curnow, the answer is fewer commas. ;>

Susan said...

Just spent a few hours working on Draft 2 of my manuscript, and decided to stop over. Thanks for making this productive-but-dateless Saturday night feel pretty darn good.

WandererInGray said...

*smiles* Thank you, that was very nice to hear.

ABBAGirl said...

wow. tough love, then the soothing honeymoon period.

LOL

kind of reminds me of mommy dearest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BB6q7M_Imw

i love the little girl christine's comment at the end of the tirade in this clip.

Gina Black said...

Thank you, Miss S.

ORION said...

Thank you and much aloha Miss Snark.

crack-pot girl said...

That's something writers need to remember every time we're plagued by the question: "Who am I--to think I could ever write a book, or that anyone would be interested in what I have to say?" If we do our jobs properly...the answer is: someone like you. :)

takoda said...

Abbagirl, that clip is hysterical! I wonder if we can cut and paste Alec Baldwin's face over Joan Crawfords!

Cheers,

kitty said...

Decades ago, I saw Nancy Sinatra on Johnny Carson talking about writing a book about her father. She said she thought it would be easy -- after all, she knew the subject -- but writing was the most difficult task she had ever attempted.

I can see the stories in my head. The problem is to get them on the paper. They're just not coming out the same way.

...

JoAnne Soper-Cook said...

I've published six novels - two of them internationally - and I am currently in one hell of a slump as far as my so-called 'career' goes. It's so nice to hear that what I do (and what so many others do) does have some value. Thank you.

Sonya said...

*happy sigh*

You're enabling us, you know... :-)

Miss Snark, you rock!

(how about that hug now?)

Thomma Lyn said...

Thanks, Miss Snark! And I appreciate all you do to help us writers.

Carole said...

Thank you so much for all your support, even though book publishing challenges hurt at times.

I needed to read your supportive comments this morning to stir up the motivation to start my third novel, after completing two others, not finding an agent yet, and going back to the day job to make ends meet.

Crystal Charee said...

It's easy to get caught up in the detailed annoyances and frustrations, but it's nice to step back and take a look at the big picture, and why everyone in the biz works so hard to get books published. Books change lives. They've changed mine.

I appreciate your snarky advice, but I also really like that you come up with these posts once in a while, reminding us of what's important in this business.

Kim said...

Wow - this on top of (finally) gorgeous weather???

I heart everyone right now - especially Miss Snark! :)

Dawn said...

Sheesh, Miss Snark, you've brought a tear to my eye. I love you too.

Kathleen said...

Miss Snark, I thought this might interest you.

http://www.cosmos-books.com/

It's a publisher using POD to bring back out-of-print books--and not just the classics.

Anonymous said...

the human species is capable of mother teresa to genocide and everything in between... good, bad, and the rest... if you write extremely well, a path will magically appear before you, if you don't, you will be ignored and wither away in a million slush piles...

Sonarbabe said...

It's always nice to know that despite how much we irritate you, you still heart us. Come on, admit it...you know you heart us too. :>

jennifergg said...

Awww shucks. Thanks for that, Miss Snark.

And though they may be just words, without our stories, we are nothing. And there are no stories without words.

Angela said...

This is a Diffrent Angela Here.

Its posts and kind words like this that keep me plugging away

I knew there was a reason why I keep on coming back to this blog daily.

And this post is just one of them.

Thank you Miss Snark!

Deb said...

Thanks for stating the not-so-obvious. So many times we're treated like we're producing widgets or some such. "Just keep typing, and product will come out!"

It's more than that, or it should be. It's nice to hear the other side of the business praised.

Thanks for saying so, Miss S.

T2

Southern Writer said...

Next time you're feeling cranky as hell, Miss Snark, watch your Happy Hooker Crapstravaganza video and remember how much you mean to all of us. It's there to remind you that you are appreciated, and we couldn't do what we do without you.

I may not comment often, but I am here reading every day and
proud to be a Snarkling.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. Post of the year for me.

bookbabie said...

Wow, how unSnarky of you Miss Snark. You have inspired moi to quit wasting time playing with my book blog (I just posted another totally unbiased Clooney vs Pitt poll) and get back to work on my book.

Anonymous said...

For being a non-writer, you sure moved us writerly types with your words.

You've just been redefined.

Thanks,
Laura in KC

Janny said...

Okay, who are you really and what have you done with Her Snarkness?

Janny

J said...

Awww, Miss S. You're welcome. ;)

Anonymous said...

It's the "just words" aspect that makes it hard. No special effects to wow the crowd to cover up a bad plot. No handsome actor to mug through bad dialog. No naked actresses to hook the viewer.

All we get is the little black squiggles to make everything happen all at once.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

beautiful post.

Mary Akers said...

Much needed, Miss Snark. Thanks.

David L. McAfee said...

Thanks, Miss Snark. *sniff* That was lovely.

Mizrepresent said...

Now that was something special!