Monday, July 21, 2008

The harsh realities of the business...

I was reading a very sobering article the other day written by an Australian author about the harsh realities of publishing. About the difficulties of getting published, staying published, getting funding, getting noticed, and selling books. I couldn't help nodding my head as I read along. I recognized so much of what he was saying to be true. Some things made me realise how lucky I am to have got this far, other things were daunting. I wondered would I want to know these things if I was just starting out and it got me thinking....

Deep down, when I first began, I did know how hard it is to get published. Its one of the things that stopped me writing when I was younger and kept me looking for a 'proper' job. But once I did give in to the desire to write, if I hadn't had an inkling of how tough it is I probably would have been devastated by my first rejection. Knowing rejection was inevitable helped me through it. Knowing some of the other hurdles made me push a little harder to get over them.

Since my first acceptance letter, through subsequent events in my writing career I've learned most of the other stuff. How getting your first book published is just the beginning of the journey not the end and how tricky every step is and how unforgiving the terrain. Even though I wished I 'd known more at the beginning its probably better that I didn't. And you kind of have to experience some things to know about them. To a certain extent, in writing, everyone's journey is a little different. Especially in New Zealand where the sample size of children's writers is pretty small, to find two people who have had the same experiences with publishers, contracts, agents and book buyers, written similar things, and followed the same pathway is unlikely. And what worked for me may be a disaster for someone else. Some things you have to discover for yourself.

Some of the things I read in that article made me feel better. The statistic about how many people recieve arts funding showed me i'm not alone in my failure to be funded. But much of the article was bleak and depressing. Will i battle on regardless? - I'm in too deep to stop now. Especially as I know its the right job for me. I'm stuck with this uncompromising career of pushing something runny uphill with a pointed stick. Its the only job i've ever wanted to try this hard at. And for every 80% of bad news, there's 20% good news. Someone's got to be in that 20% I'm going to see if it can be me!

No comments: