September 05, 2003

Business of Writing

"If you write something that only you could write, and you write it well, I believe you will be found. I came out of my experience in publishing believing that even more than I believed it when I began. I saw and experienced every horrifying thing about publishing, and yet I also remember those sweet moments when everything came together for someone deserving, someone who had worked for an unfathomable amount of time by themselves on a book they would not compromise, that they would rather destroy in the burn barrel than turn into a pack of marketable lies. These were those rare people who, somewhere along the way, had found a reason to write that didn't depend on the goodwill of editors and publishers and critics, who were not much stirred by rejection. Under those conditions - when a mind, an intelligence, a will, is let loose to do what it wants - the most wonderful things emerge. You cannot believe what people are capable of dreaming up when they let themselves go. And it's the originality, maybe even more than the craft, that makes those books stand out. Working on your craft is important, but working on your mind - teasing out that thing you have to say - is even more important. And most people can't do it when their minds are clouded by concerns about the publishing world, and the marketplace, and who their agent should be."

by Duncan Murrell (Delivered at Peace College, July 26, 2003, during the closing session of the Elizabeth Daniels Squire Writers-in-Residence Program)

Good timing, this voice from the business, as I vascillate between the burn barrel and the book proposal. Link thanks to TravelerTrish who is one of those people who has 'let themselves go' to the most wonderful places, geographic and creative.

Posted by fred1st at September 5, 2003 06:53 AM | TrackBack

blush, blush. Thanks, Fred.

Posted by: trish at September 5, 2003 07:20 AM

What a wonderful, wonderful quote! Thanks for sharing! Haven't been around for awhile . . . good to be back. Hope you're doing well, Fred! :)

Posted by: Artichoke Heart at September 5, 2003 02:39 PM

Interesting that Duncan has left the field of publishing to become a writer. His complete speech gave an insider's view of the the publishing industry. The commercial realities were starkly illuminated, yet his conclusions for the future of writing were reassuring.

I am encouraged to contine writing, not for the income, but in hopes of communicating something of value.

Posted by: David St Lawrence at September 6, 2003 08:10 AM

Never give up, never surrender, despite the harshest of rejecktimikations... keep writing.

Posted by: inkgrrl at September 9, 2003 03:11 PM

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