Last night I was thinking about the question that titles this post. A few years ago, I heard a University of Houston Literature professor, who is also a published poet, say that only poets wrote for the love of writing. His reasoning was that poets never make any money from writing so they do it strictly because they love stringing words together.
I disagreed with him then, and I disagree now because I know many, many writers who have written hundreds of thousands of words and have never been published yet they still keep writing. Sure, they submit to publishers, but they've been rejected time and again - not because their writing isn't worthy of publication.
Why, Oh Why
They don't get published because of myriad reasons, many of them subjective. Perhaps the publisher just bought a manuscript with that premise or that same setting. Maybe the editor doesn't think the marketing hook is high concept enough or the editor's personal opinion is that no one could ever be caught in the situation that's in the opening scene of the book.
Maybe the publisher has an author who already writes that type of book, and they don't see a need for another author writing it. Maybe the industry is downsizing. Maybe the editor doesn't like women like the heroine of the piece. Or, maybe the hero's name is Brian, and the editor just split from her husband named Brian. The "maybe's" go on forever.
For those who are reading this and saying, "Amen," they can attest to the fact that, sometimes, good writing just never lands on an editor or agent's desk who "get it." Do they give up? No. Do they outline another book and start writing? Yes. Why? Because they can't not write. They love writing.
Cynthia Wicklund Writes For Love
Last night, I had the pleasure of visiting the website, still under construction, but now live, of Cynthia Wicklund, an author who has written a dozen great stories. Cindy has written for years, persevering in the face of rejections. Why? Because she loves writing. She's a storyteller. She can't not write. She's tried, believe me, but the love of telling stories, in her special way, makes her continue.
On June 24, Cindy's first book Lord Of Always will be published by Cerridwen Press. I'll be interviewing Cindy for this blog later. In the meantime, I ask you to mark your calendars, and, please, buy her book!
Maybe Calvin Coolidge is still right. "Persist. Persist. Never give up."