by Pat Stoltey, who loves writing most of the time:
1. Writing takes an enormous amount of time with no guarantee of success. The best advice a writer receives is “Don’t give up your day job.”
2. In order to get published, a writer must write a whole book, revise it multiple times, self-edit the final draft until it shines, then make another round of revisions and editing changes (or two) to satisfy an agent and/or editor.
3. Finding an agent and/or publisher could take years because the competition is fierce, the submission process is cumbersome, and writers are prone to procrastination.
4. Many agents and editors don’t send confirmations when they receive a query or partial, and many don’t send rejection notices. They employ other torture devices as well: offering pitch sessions and slush pile critiques at conferences, taking submissions only on referrals, or conducting public floggings (often called critiques) on their blogs.
5. Once a contract is signed with a traditional publisher, it can still take eighteen months or more for the book to be released (assuming the publisher doesn’t go out of business before the release date, opening the whole new problem of getting your rights back).
6. Self-publishing gets a book published faster, but there are additional expenses involved and the amount of time required for book promotion is even greater. You still won’t be able to quit your day job.
7. The publishing and bookselling industries are changing so fast it takes hours of reading to keep up. Hours of time you don’t have, by the way.
8. Non-writers think all writers make a lot of money. This one always cracks me up.
9. Most writers don’t make a lot of money. Many writers spend more money on editors, supplies, organization dues and conferences, and book promotion than they make in advances and royalties.
10. If a writer gets lucky and produces a bestseller, he will be inundated with requests for free books, blurbs, whole manuscript critiques, public appearances, blog posts, interviews, and money. Success at last?