Okay, when I began this blog, I said to myself: “Myself, try to avoid the negative. Myself, try to be positive.” I have to break that promise to myself, however, but promise not to do it much in the future.
What do I want to be negative about today? The answer is simple, I want to rip those institutions that prey on the young writer, and when I say institutions, I really am talking about publishing institutions that put out magazines and publishing kits and all sorts of errata aimed at the young and innocent who have just put their toes into the cold pool of publishing. I don’t have to mention their names; they are everywhere and now even have internet and social media presence.
These publishing institutions for writers purportedly have one purpose in life, to help us achieve our goals. Actually, this is not correct. Their purpose is to fill their pockets with gold coin. They fill the young writer with visions of glory and fame, fame and fortune. They list the markets for you; tell you that the markets out there are waiting for you. Tell you of brilliant literary agents that are there who have an ‘in.’ They include small markets to you, literary markets for you if you are a more literary type. Besides that, they have all these professional writers, who have made it, giving you these tips on writing and how to publish and how to make money at it; these professionals explain how to craft your stories and words, etc., etc., etc.
What I’m saying is it’s a crock. I came out of university many years ago and I turned to such publishing institutions because I had a complete lack of experience. Nobody in my family were writers to advise me. So, I found their publications at the library, bought their ‘helpful’ books and magazines and was off to the races on years of reading their materials, crafting my stories and novels the way they told me, finding the hot markets, writing the query letters they told me to write and sending it to the people they told me to send it to. The result, form letters in return. Nothing on nothing leads to nothing, or something like that as the old song goes.
If I wanted to make money at writing, it would have been better for me to go to the local candy store and buy a lottery ticket. My chances would have been better. They never tell you this. Sending manuscripts and such is the quickest way to rejection. There are thousands upon thousands of submissions to big and small markets; the chances of even being read and accepted are practically nil.
Are these writing publications by these corporate publishers ever helpful. There are better ways to find information, better ways that do not ask you to clear the dollar bills out of your wallet, but I’ll speak to that in my next blog post.
What I’m saying about these publications aimed at writers is that they cannot be trusted. They are money making machines for themselves and not for most writers out there. Oh yes, they do issue disclaimers in their magazines and books about how hard the process is; but these disclaimers are akin to those issued by the pharmaceutical companies when advertising dangerous drugs. It is cover your butt disclaimers.
So these publications tell you what to write, how to write, how to format what you write and how to write cover letters with your writing. It’s bogus. There are better ways to learn to write than going to people who will be making money off you. Even the professional articles by writers in these publications are bogus. Why? The writers who write these things are making money. You are not and probably will never be making money.
So, there’s much more that I can say, but I’ll stop here for now. In an attempt to counteract all this negativity, in my next post, I will tell young writers a more productive way to spend their time, one that better utilizes that time.
There is nothing more depressing in the writing business than chasing your own tail. Read the writers publications out there and that’s what 99.9.9% of you will be doing. There is a better way out there. We promise.