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I, Brian
June 8th, 2003, 12:25 PM
Over the past couple of years I've compared being an aspiring author as being like on a mountain climb.

I've always offered to help other aspirants - I figure we're all in the same boat and it's not a race - but rarely have any ever actually taken me up on anything (free web-hosting, showcase/articles on my sites, etc).

Now I feel I'm near the peak. I've got something like 3/4 million words behind me on other projects (some simply need major editing), and I figure I've only got less than 20,000 words left to write to finish my work in progress - my big market breaker I'm confident corrects all my previous mistakes and aims right into the heart of the sf genre.

But I'm exhausted. Truly. I started 8 years ago. Now that last 20k looks like the hardest thing I will ever write.

It's the climax - the real reason for the story, and I know what I should be writing. Only I just can't get my head around writing anymore.

I know I will. It's part of my destiny - and that feeling has kept me climbing over some of the worst gullies and rockfaces.

So now I look up at the last sheer climbing challenge, trying to focus my utterly exhausted self to that hidden pinnacle I know I will reach. Slowly I will reach it - I'll start crawling up one finger at a time until I get there.

And I look around and find so few dared come this way.

Sometimes it seems like traditional publishing has become not a test of artistic merit, but one of personality types. Some even seem to make astonishingly swift ascents. Maybe I just made it hard for myself without realising.

Even still, it;s not all over yet. There are agents and editors left ahead of me. And some say that is the hardest challenge.

I'm sure the Labours of Hercules were easiest than this.

James Barclay
June 8th, 2003, 03:40 PM
Just so long as you keep going, I, Brian.

There are multifarious challenges out there for the aspiring author and you've mentioned many in your time on this site.

But one thing you've got is determination so I have no doubt you'll complete your work to your satisfaction. And assuming you do that, you'll be close to the nirvana of publishing.

I actually don't think traditional publishing is a test of artistic merit. Not all of it certainly. It is a test of what will sell and for that publishers need fresh talent and that's where the merit comes in. Sad but true? Well, perhaps but it's a realism. Commercial success isn't about the quality of writing as much as it is about grabbing the psyche of the reader.

Anyway, that's another thread. Where was I? Oh yes.

One finger at a time is quick enough so long as you reach the summit.

NOM

pcarney
June 9th, 2003, 06:52 AM
Congrats on coming so far!

In the grand scheme of things, I don't think I've even gotten to the first base camp...I mean, I've made a couple of attempts, but these damn Sherpas are always leading me astray..