Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shine Like a Million Stars!

There's an interesting back-and-forth going on over at Jessica Faust's site regarding what an agent's job "is" and what we, as writers, "should" write. I'm dumbfounded (which is different than just plain "dumb" which I arguably am as well) when I hear writers being overly interested in what's "hot" and what "holes" there are in the publishing industry that need filling. Are you kidding me? So far as I can tell, there is only one WIP that any of us should be writing and that is the story we're meant to tell.

It's simple, really. Write what's in your heart to be spoken. That's all you can and "should" do. A country songwriter doesn't write a hip-song because it's "hot," he writes country songs because that's what he knows and loves. A painter doesn't create a painting because it's "hot." She paints what's in her heart and soul to paint. Hot, cold, or medium, makes no freaking difference.

Writing is the same. It's an art. Absolutely. Plain and simple. Beautiful and breathtaking. So, write what's in your heart and soul begging to be released. Worrying about what an agent or editor might want is like fretting over how many raindrops will fall in the next storm. It's futile. First of all, most agents don't even know what they want, but like porn, they'll know it when they see it.

So relax, all my writerly friends. Trust in yourselves and in your spirit to take you precisely where you need to go and to write the story that is yours to write. No one else can write that particular story like you can. That is the deep beauty of being an artist. No one can exactly recreate your art. It is the one spark of light that is truly your own. Let it shine like a million stars!

In Other News...
I met my first "blog" friend in person this weekend! My husband and I were graced with meeting Vegas Linda Lou and her lovely sister, Lori, as they made their way through the great state of Pennsylvania. What a blast it was, and what a treat to meet one of my "esteemed colleagues." It was wonderful, fun, thrilling, and memorable. I highly recommend it!

34 comments:

Beth said...

"...most agents don't even know what they want, but like porn, they'll know it when they see it."

Hahaha!

Hi Debra, thanks for visiting my blog and following. Happy to return the favor, especially when I saw that you like X. I thought, "Ooo, I like her already!"

All my best,
Beth

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, OMG - You like X!!!! Yay!!! We just saw them (again) last year, and holy canoli can they still rock the house! I'm looking forward to "getting to know you." Anyone who likes X is a friend of mine.;-)

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I agree completely...

However,if writers are willing to jump on board when agents/editors tell us to start with action, use "said" and not "ask", skip the prologue, show not tell, and a thousand other things we're supposed to do in order to give ourselves a chance of getting published, it isn't at all surprising that many writers make the jump from HOW to write to WHAT to write.

Also, because of the amount of time it takes to write a novel, I think a lot of people don't want to "waste their time" writing something that no one in the publishing world wants.

valbrussell said...

Hi Debra,
It's like skinny jeans: They may be 'in' but that doesn't mean I should be wearing them. I've nothing else to add, because as always you've said it perfectly. No doubt about it, you are an artist my dear. :)

Lynnette Labelle said...

Unfortunately, by the time the author has finished writing the "perfect book to fit the hole", that hole has been filled and there's a new one to fill. I agree it's best to write what you need to write and hopefully someone other than your dog will love the story as much as you do. ;)

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Litgirl01 said...

"So far as I can tell, there is only one WIP that any of us should be writing and that is the story we're meant to tell."

Amen sister!!!! I totally agree!
:-)

Joanne said...

So true. The best writing is writing with heart in it. You couldn't have said it better. And how fun to meet a blog friend! Nice to put a face to all these words!

Write on ...

Vivi Alden said...

Deb, how funny, I used to read Jessica's blog all the time and actually stopped because of discussions like that. Nothing against her, she's great, and nothing against the writers commenting, but it all would just make my head hurt. I totally and completely, 100% agree with you. With the time, energy, headaches and heartaches that go into writing a novel, you MUST write something that speaks to you. Something that is in your bones. There's a quote that goes, "Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." So true!

DebraLSchubert said...

Paul, Great point, although it's still amazing that anyone would ask WHAT to write!! Of course it takes a long time to write a ms - that's what makes it challenging and special. And in any field of art there are never, ever, any guarantees! You do it because you love it and you perfect it to the best of your ability. After that, you research the heck out of agents and query like a mad person. And after that... it's all up to the gods!

DebraLSchubert said...

Val, Skinny jeans... hilarious! And thank you so much for your kind words.You once again have made my day.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Lynette, Or your six cats, depending on the household!!! And, you couldn't be more right on the money about the "holes." It's like the shell game at the carnival. The minute you think you've nailed it, you find out there's nothing there!

DebraLSchubert said...

Litgirl, Aint' that the truth!

DebraLSchubert said...

Joanne, Thank you. Coming from you - someone who always words things perfectly - that means a lot.;-) And yes, meeting Linda was tres cool!

DebraLSchubert said...

Vivi, I know. And if it's hard for us to hear it over and over again, I can't imagine how the agents must feel... talk about a migraine! Again, anyone who would even entertain the thought of writing something simply because it might sell (underline "might") is one t-shirt short of a load in my book. Write what you love. Write what you know. Love what you write. Finis!

Lady Glamis said...

Ah, yes, I just flew out to D.C. to meet two of my blogging friends. It was amazing!

Thanks for this great post. I am definitely writing what's in my heart. I just hope it's what somebody wants. :)

Lady Glamis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Sue Nathan said...

I think sometimes writers get so caught up in getting published that they forget about writing. I can fall into that trap too sometimes. I think the key is that there are no sure-thing and no rules. I think writers have a lot of stories inside them - the key is writing the right one at the right time!!!

DebraLSchubert said...

Amy, Good point. When you're more concerned with getting published than writing because that's what you're "called" to do (and publishing may or may not result from your passion) it's easy to get caught up in what's "right" or what's "needed." But as you said:

"I think the key is that there are no sure-thing and no rules."

Bingo!

Broke But Still Drinking said...

If you're ever near a Polish Falcons, stop in, because you just might run into another blogger.

DebraLSchubert said...

BBSD, I'll keep that in mind!

Lilly said...

I guess its like anything, you have to do what you love doing and eventually it will work out. Perhaps there are people who just treat writing as a job as opposed a passion. A quick way to make money perhaps. We all go about things in different ways. I do not think I could be that calculated but I am sure some song writers do the same thing in order to get a big hit. In fact I have heard of musicians talking about that before - manufactured hits. I guess its the same in every industry.

How fantastic you met Vegas Londa Lou - what a great community the blogging one is! I cannot wait to read her book too.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Yup- it's what I always tell writers just starting out - that's really what "write what you know" means - no necessarily a literal or concrete thing.

Very wise, Debra!

Oh, and how nice to meet someone from blogland - :-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Lilly, You're right (of course!). Some people look at writing as nothing more than a way to put food on the table. I can understand that in the sense of freelance work and magazine articles, etc. However, to write a novel and expect a fast payoff? Unless your name is Stephen King, that's a tad bit unrealistic.

In the world of songwriting, some folks are paid to produce "hit" songs. Of course, writing a song is much quicker and easier than writing a novel (trust me on this one!).

And, yes - meeting Linda was a definite highlight!!

DebraLSchubert said...

Kat, Any chance you'll be heading to the northeast for book signings? I know someone in PA who'd be first in line!

Kasie West said...

Amen, girl. Thanks for the reminder. It's good to hear and so true.

DebraLSchubert said...

Kasie, Creativity is a privilege and a joy. We are lucky to be able to communicate in a way that moves people.;-)

Anita said...

So did you and your blog friend meet at a restaurant or what? I've talked to my husband about meeting up with my blog friends and he thinks I'm nuts...he doesn't even want to be cyber "friends" with most of his old high school classmates who try to connect with him! Hmmm...now that I think of it, maybe he IS right!

Anyway, just curious.

DebraLSchubert said...

Anita, We met at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. The food and the conversation were superb. Tell your husband he's missing out. My husband was with me and we all had a great time!!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

We sure did have a great time! I've now met four people who I knew only through the blogsphere, and each one was exactly as I imagined. If you like them in their blogs, you're sure to have an even greater connection in real life.

Deb, you're so right about writing being magical. There's always a balance between strategy (what we think we're going to write) and surprise (what ends up on the page). It's such a thrill to see some kind of creation sitting on what was once a blank page or screen.

DebraLSchubert said...

Linda, Meeting you was truly a thrill for me. I look forward to getting together again hopefully in the not-too-distant future!

Tara Maya said...

"...most agents don't even know what they want, but like porn, they'll know it when they see it."

Loved this line too.

Good reminder.

DebraLSchubert said...

Tara, I guess I'll have to use that line more often - it seems to have gotten a laugh or two! Thanks for stopping by. I've seen you hanging out in some of the same unseemly places that I do. That's OK. I'd probably like you anyway! I hope to see you back again soon.;-)

Rebecca Anne said...

Hey there. I wanted to let you know I mentioned you in my blog today.
I swear, it was good (smile)
I hope you are having a beautiful Sunday,
Rebecca

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