Archives for April 2010

Carrots, Cake and Ruth Saberton

 carrot cake
Everyone thinks that they have a great story to tell hidden deep within them.  Everyone thinks that writing 70-150,000 words that follow a clearly defined overall story arc is easy. Everyone thinks’ telling compelling stories with characters that are intriguing, real enough to be believable yet fictional enough to keep you out of a libel case at court is easy.

I’ve been honestly learning and reading books on the whole publishing industry gig for a couple of years now. I’ve read the statistics in a tonne of books on writing. Ive read the blogs of some people getting writing contracts literally thrown at them and I personally know of writers who have amazing stories to tell that have had nibbles from publishers but havent quite got over the finish line and landed the deal. I know that its practically impossible for someone to write a book and get it published.

But for those of us called to write our stories, its the carrot before the donkey. We know the realities of the uphill battle, and yet we keep going, because we feel compelled to write. But when that manuscript is in your hands, edited to within an inch of its life, what then? Of course, that carrot of publication dangles there, urging the writer on.  And carrots aren’t even my favourite vegetable (bring on the pumpkin!)

It’s not just the writing of a book that takes time and the personal conviction that what you have written is really good – publishable even. Ooooooh no, no, no. It’s the finding and convincing an literary agent to take you on as their client to sell your work. It’s the agents skill in finding a publisher who will take a risk on simply reading the first 50 pages of an unpublished author’s manuscript.  It’s not so easy.

Which is why I find the humour and the courage of Ruth Saberton  inspiring.  I find myself wondering, would I be brave enough to put a manuscript through the mail box of someone linked into the publishing industry? And that’s why I need to put this story up on KindaSassy. To remind me to never give up, no matter how mad the idea. That the carrot in front of me can eventually be turned into carrot cake if I’m just creative and sassy enough.