The difficulties of being a writer
No Comments »28th May, 2007; Category: Quotes, The Writer's Life, Writing Hints
“To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.”~ Charles Caleb Colton
While I think that this quote has been written a little tongue in cheek, there is much truth in it. It highlights three important stages in the publication path.
- Writing: The writing stage is usually the one that concerns writers the most. First, there is the problem of coming up with an idea, then there is the problem of converting the idea into words and then finally editing and checking the words until they are as near to perfect as the writer can achieve. Most writers think that the process ends here. Wrong.
- Publishing: The next stage, getting the writing published, is just as important as the first stage. Having done one’s homework and research, the writer then submits the writing to a print publisher. Here is where patience is needed. Normally it takes months to get a response, and in the case of book length manuscripts, it may take years. All of this waiting is then without a guarantee of even getting published. And if you are lucky enough to get published, you may not even make any money out of it. Writers who think the process ends here are also missing the point.
- Reading: The reading stage is just as important as the other two stages. Without readers, the writer would be better off throwing his or her work into the fire; at least they will be able to keep warm that way. The promotion stage of writing is just as important as the writing. Without promotion, how will potential readers be found? This is vitally important, especially to writers of book length works.
How does all this relate to blogging, the new kid on the publication block?
- Writing: There is little difference between writing for one’s blog and writing for print publication. The writer still has to come up with ideas, though in fairness, I’ve read some blogs that are totally bereft of ideas. The writing still has to be good – even better in many cases because on the internet you have only a few seconds, perhaps a sentence or two, to get the reader’s interest. Proofreading, rewriting and editing are still essential skills.
- Publishing: Publication of one’s writing in a blog is the easy part. Too easy. As a result there is little moderation of what is published. In my opinion, the ease of publication on a blog is both a strength and a weakness. Its strength is the fact that almost anyone can be published. Its weakness is that almost anyone can be published. This means that there is an awful lot of rubbish to wade through to get to the good stuff, and the great stuff is even harder to find.
- Reading: The reading stage on blogs is probably the most crucial part. Without readers one is just blowing words into the wind. The real strength in blogging comes if good content being written. When there is good content, readers will find your writing through search engines. Consistently good content that is worth reading will be found and readers will come back. Loyalty of readership is something every blogger must strive for and cherish.