Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What if?

Reading Mary McDonald's blog post this morning got me thinking. (Her blog's on my sidebar if you want to check it out.) What if you knew there was a publisher waiting to publish you as soon as you got that current wip done and polished? What if there were no agents, no query letters or rejections to worry about?

Imagine this process: the writer creates the story with all his talent and skill, passes it off to the publisher (and I'm NOT talking vanity press here) who welcomes it with eager smiles--then comes editing, typesetting and printing-- to create the masterpiece that is every author's dream. A book.

And what if there were thousands of people eager to read your book? To pay money for it?

We're writers. We are good at imagining and saying what if. So imagine this scenario. Pretend it's real. How does it change you? How would it change your approach to writing? What would you do differently than you're doing now?

34 comments:

  1. I'm not sure it would change too much for me (I like being an eternal optimist). However, it would definitely push me to write faster.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm in a serious procrastinating stage on the final edit. So, I'd get my booty in gear and get that baby off to the editor asap.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It would be nice to write with such confidence and it would certainly help you move forward quickly! Sheesh, if only...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nothing different. Just keep writing. It's the story that matters, whatever the publishing situation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I would spend more time working on it, knowing that there was definitely good coming on the other end of it. Sometimes knowing bad is an option causes people to not take risks.

    This is a good scenario to consider. I shall keep it in mind. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  6. p.s. BTW, I've lost my picture trying to figure out how to fix a problem I'm having on the blog. Others seem to have it too; when I go into websites and click on my photo, the LINK to my blog doesn't show; this happens on others, too, including yours. I spent HOURS last night trying to figure it out and still can't get it, and now my pic doesn't come up anymore on comments. No loss of course (lol), but it's frustrating.

    Also, your huge wonderful picture at the top of your blog doesn't come up on my computer anymore either. I'm ready to pick up Ralph Waldo Emerson and head for the hills!! (just posted a comment on a blog about simplifying!!!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would find more time to work on them

    ReplyDelete
  8. the only thing that would change for me, i think, is it would be a boost to my confidence. to never have to hear "i just didn't fall in love with it" ever again would be quite nice!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Interesting. That would be a great confidence boost. Ooh, but there's be pressure there too!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wouldn't be catching up on three episodes of Waterloo Road and then browsing the Internet, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I myself would continue as is for I haven't told enough stories to expect publishing and to push these stories to publish would diminish the creativity, not really be me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi

    Wow. That would be something wouldn't it?? I'd love a lovely editor too - someone to help my book be stronger - that'll be nice too.

    :-)

    Lovely dream!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the shout out. :-) Interesting answers above.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The only thing I would do differently is write faster.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree it would help keep me focused to finish my book ASAP.

    I'm not sure taking agents out of the equation would be all that helpful. Salesperson I am not. Contracts expert I am not. There are probably a thousand things the agent would be able to help me with...and without that layer of protection, what's to keep the publishers from taking advantage of the writers?

    Interesting question though...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Interesting question. I'd already have a couple of books published. It would take away much angst. What a nice "What if?" to ponder.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm a total wimp and don't look that far ahead (or else I might run screaming for the hills). So I don't think I'd notice :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm with those who say they would write faster. In fact, if I could make myself believe these two elements-- that a publisher and readers are waiting-- then I THINK I would be more productive. Although maybe not, and I'd still be the worst procrastinator in the world!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would write faster and stop procrastinating on blogs!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It would change me. I'd let it get to my head and think I'm better than everyone. I'd refuse to do interviews and act like a jerk. I'd only wear really nice clothes and get someone to do all my cleaning and cooking and laundry and driving and... Well, that's what my imagination's telling me. :) All I hope is, I wouldn't stop trying to be a better writer.

    CD

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm afraid I might not try as hard, knowing it was going to be so easy. But it would make me work faster with such a glorious prize waiting for me!

    ReplyDelete
  22. My! If this were the case I'd sit myself right down in my chair and write away on my current project. What fun! Hmmm, maybe I will anyway. Thank you for commenting on and following my blog!

    Liza

    ReplyDelete
  23. Good question!

    I suppose it would be a good feeling! And it would mean that you could quit whatever job you had and use all your time on your writing - and you could focuse wholly on that, which would be nice...

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'd like to think this is real for me! =) Especially since you said you wanted my book to turn into a series!

    I sure love you and your family and thanks for inviting me in.

    ReplyDelete
  25. For me, it is more fun to dream about being published, than having it become a reality. There would be a lot of pressure to create at a high level. I wonder if my writing would become a chore instead of a labor of love. I guess time will tell whether or not I have to entertain such ideas. All the best.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a great and daunting question! I would like to think it would keep me focused and I would be finished by now, starting the editing process. I think it doesn't change you as a person, which wouldn't change your way of writing. If you are a perfectionist, you would still be writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. You might spend more time worrying over the manuscript. Some authors take years to finish their second work despite having a publisher waiting, an audience dying to reconnect with the characters and continue on the journey. I have seen release dates get pushed and pushed and then not reset at all waiting on the authors.

    For this reason, I don't think it necessarily would speed me up. I've almost finished my WIP and I'm only two months in. I doubt that having all that waiting for me would have me working faster. However, I know for sure that it would hang me up on the rewrite/polish. I can tend towards perfection. Two and a half months to write 350+ pages, but how long until I feel it's polished enough to pass along? I think there would be a tug of war going on inside me - the excited writer who can't wait to share her story with the world and the perfectionist who doesn't think it's worthy of being read by anyone just yet.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would finish this stinking book! *glares at current project*

    Really, I'm not in this situation, but I feel like the project I'm working on now could be a great thing. I keep telling myself that I have to finish it before i can rewrite it, and I have to rewrite it before I can find out if people will love it as much as I think they will.

    But it has to get DONE first. Sigh...

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would write like gangbusters the rest of this week, month, and year until my novel was polished.

    I'd hire a maid & cook, consider boarding school for my 4 young children. :) Maybe kidding on the last bit.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am visualising, I am visualisng. The publishing house are excitedly waiting for Barbara Scully's collection of short stories to be ready. They can't wait to get started on this project!

    Yep - that makes a huge difference. It also has put me in a good mood on a Monday!

    Great post Karen!

    ReplyDelete
  30. So interesting to see all the different reactions!! For me, I find this scenario incredibly freeing and motivating. Now just as soon as I get my daughter married, I am going to write in a frenzy, finish my wip and get ready to tackle another one for NaNoWriMo. Readers, get ready!! I'm imagining, imagining....

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Trying again ...

    This isn't as far fetched as you might think. My reaction is that I would be terrified - now every passage that I thought was "acceptable" is now actually going to be read and it's certainly not "brilliant." Horrors! I think you might be even more self-critical of your work, knowing that it will find its way into the hands of readers. Which only encapsulates the act of bravery that writing truly is. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Susan, "the act of bravery that writing is" I love this line. thanks for your comment!

    ReplyDelete