Publishing / Writing / September 15, 2011

A Mistake Writers Make

Prospective authors often pose questions like these to publishers: “What kind of book are you looking for?” or ” What do you think I should write?” I will tell you what what kind of books we are looking for. Good books. Well- written books. Books made up of skill, passion, and truth.

Asking a publisher what to write is a fools errand. It rips the heart out of your writing. It is taking on an assignment, not writing something that matters to you. And as a writer what matters to you matters most. It is what you can communicate with skill, passion, and truth. It is what you will take pains to write well and go to great lengths to make perfect.

Don’t ask what to write. Write what is heavy in your heart and ping ponging around your head so much you just have to get it out. Write what you have a passion for with purpose.  That will give your work life. That will make your work matter. And that is what I want to see as a publisher.




4 Comments

Sep 15, 2011

Good word, Barnabas.


Sep 15, 2011

I don’t disagree, Barnabas, except that there is a place for others, publishers included, to help create the vision that some writers need to produce a work. The very nature of publishing seems to require *some* mutual agreement (i.e., shared vision) between author and publisher in order to create an excellent, inspiring, and marketable work.


Sep 16, 2011

Mark, Collaboration is a little bit more than what I was referring to. There most definitely has to be agreement between publisher and writer in order for it to work. Also, if the publisher offers some direction that provides inspiration that’s a good thing, especially since writers are looking for inspiration all over the place. Bottom line in what I was saying, though, is that the writer must have a sense of artistic and message integrity, stemming from is own passion and belief, for the work to be truly good.


Oct 26, 2011

Thank you, I am encouraged by this post as I am beginning the submission process for my “baby.” Although, I have to say in my research, it seems that the biggest thing a publisher is looking for is a celebrity name or resume. I began my blog, http://www.housewifetheologian.com, for this reason. I will say that it has been very helful as a writer to have the discipline and feedback that blogging provides.



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