Saturday, 31 January 2009

Why do we do it?

I've not been posting lately because . . . wait for it . . . have you worked it out yet? . . .
because I haven't had anything interesting to say.

The new date for CUT SHORT is July 2009, according to my publisher, to whom I am eternally grateful for having faith in my talent. I'll wait and see what happens this time.

I wonder if the Post Office appreciates what a stirling job we writers do, sending out letters in A4 envelopes (paying a premium for the large size) stuffed with synopses and extracts (extra cost for additional weight). I couldn't say how many letters each publisher receives daily, or even how many publishers there are, and then there are the agents. If publishers and agents et al decide to accept submissions online, I suspect the Post Office will go the way of the telegram. (Do they still exist?) Anyway, I've done my bit this week. In a few months, letters may start falling through my letter box. Of course they're likely to be rejections if they arrive at all, but at least I can comfort myself that I'm helping the Post Office. It's an ill wind . . .

Given the rate of rejection, why do we bother? Answers on a postcard, please . . . or you can reply here on the blog (sorry Post Office - but you did keep me waiting in a queue for HALF AN HOUR this morning - I wasn't going to mention that, but it just slipped out.)

26 comments:

Debs said...

I suppose we bother because like any addiction, it's so difficult not to.

Hope you have some great results form all that submitting (and queuing).

Charles Gramlich said...

And now post office is talking about cutting back to five day a week delivery.

Aggie said...

I think it will eventually become a Courier service for parcels only. Everything else is done on-line. I hope you get some good responses to your submissions. I try to imagine the fear of any publisher must be letting a JK Rowling slide through the cracks of all their rejected submissions. To peruse carefully, or not to peruse carefully?

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Debs - yes, it's an addiction. A relatively harmless one...?

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Charles - that's new to me, but no surprise. Are you talking about the UK post office?

Leigh Russell said...

I agree, Aggie. Not much that can't be done online these days.

As for the cracks, they're everywhere. I have a black hole under the door of my class room at school. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've been assured by a pupil that they put their homework under my door - and it never appears on the other side!

Aggie said...

I totally relate to the crack under the classroom door - I'm amazed at how much work disappears into the black hole of Lost in Space via this method. Lol!
I hope you had a lovely dancing Friday for your birthday, with lots of spoiling.

Barbara Martin said...

Once you have decided to write, it's a given that a story will ensue and to get it published letters must go out, again and again.

It will be a long time before the post office closes: an institution like that!

Leigh Russell said...

I had a lovely evening, Aggie, once I got home from work... with champagne and indoor sparklers! Who needs to be mature at mumble mumble (my age)

Leigh Russell said...

Barbara you are so reassuring. I think I'll go straight over to your blog right now.

Middle Ditch said...

Hi Leigh, I don't really bother anymore. Blog is a good outlet for my work and I'm happy and as for KJ Rowling? If the publisher's daughter had not nagged him to read the rest (He tossed the first chapter to her to keep her quiet) and he finally got tired of her pestering him it might never have been published. Luck.

Leigh Russell said...

You're right, MD, it's all luck. I'm still feeling lucky, but the optimism is fading, I have to confess...

Eryl Shields said...

In Saturday's Guardian Review there was something about Harper Collins having an online slush-pile with a gazillion readers who then vote for favourites to be published. Might be worth checking out, a few writers have already benefited, according to the article.

Leigh Russell said...

That's an encouraging anecdote, Eryl, that some talented writers get through as a result of public support. It's also positive to know there are still a gazillion readers out there, despite the telly!

The World According To Me said...

I suppose there are worse addictions?

I like Eryl's Harper Collins advice. I might check that out myself.

So July is the new publishing date.I'm so looking forward to reading it!

Leigh Russell said...

By the time July comes, I won't even remember what the book's about!

fizzycat said...

As long as your publisher keeps paying you for the extension....
I used to think I was funding the post office when doing my degree with the Open University.Essays dutifully packaged in large envelopes and posted every month for several years.
I am now doing a mini course with them.It is all online this time. They ( posties) are probably glad of hopeful writers still using the post.

Rachete said...

Never give up on your dreams!

http://racheteapaintersdiary.blogspot.com/

Mel said...

Never give up! I will be eagerly awaiting the book in July, it seems that things can happen when you least expect them...

Amer Anwar said...

Hi Leigh - I only just saw your blog last week for the first time and having read through it, you have inspired me to start my own.

There's not much there at present. I'm very new to blogging in general but I hope to continue with it and hopefully tell people about my own progress as a writer.

I'm currently working on my first novel too, so I read everything you'd written about your own experience with great interest.

I don't have a publisher yet but I do have an agent. I just have to finish writing the book and then see what happens.

Best of luck with 'CUT SHORT' and good luck to all the other writers who're regulars to you blog.

BernardL said...

If they ever outlaw junk mail, the post office will probably go under anyway. :)

Leigh Russell said...

fizzycat - Yes, we do a good job for the post office don't we? I'm full of admiration for people who do OU courses. Hard work and time consuming, they take a lot of dedication - but why am I telling you this?!

Leigh Russell said...

rachete - "It's a good life if you don't weaken."

Leigh Russell said...

Mel yes, you and Rachete remind me of Winston Churchill who was invited to speak at a school prize day. He stood up and (all the pupils prepared for a long boring lecture) said 9 words. "Never give up, never give up, never give up." And then he sat down. (no doubt all the pupils were very impressed!)

Leigh Russell said...

Amer Anwar - what can I say but welcome to my blog! Good luck with the writing and congratulations on finding an agent. I haven't managed that yet. I did try, but found a publisher instead...

Leigh Russell said...

bernard - junk mail, junk phone calls - at least we can blog uninterrupted.