Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

On Writing: Megan Crewe

In writing on March 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Next up on my quasi-random blog series, “On Writing”, is Megan Crewe, YA author of GIVE UP THE GHOST and the newly released Contagionesque thriller, THE WAY WE FALL.

Click for Megan's website

Writing, for Love or Money

If I’ve learned one thing about the publishing industry over the years, it’s that you can’t take anything for granted. When I got my first agent, I assumed that meant a book deal was soon to come. It ended up taking a year. When I sold my first book, I thought that meant smooth-sailing from there on. It took two and a half more years and four more novels (one shopped and shelved, the others deemed unready) before I sold a second.

The book that was shopped without selling was one I’d written specifically to be bigger and more commercial, one my agent at the time was incredibly excited about and was sure would get snatched up quickly. The books I have sold are a little odd, a little difficult to categorize: a paranormal YA that doesn’t have a romance, an apocalyptic YA without the usual dystopian trappings of oppressive authority figures or flashy action sequences.

I’ve seen authors claim that if you write what you’re passionate about, then others will feel passionately about it too. I can’t say if that’s true. One of the novels I wrote that I loved the most received the most criticism from my critique partners, and I haven’t yet figured out how to fix it. But what I do think is true is the vast majority of us can’t predict what will sell and what won’t. We don’t know whether the book we’re writing right now will be one that sells in three weeks or three years or never.

Once I realized that, I could no longer see the point in writing anything I *wasn’t* passionate about. If I can’t tell whether others will love a book before I’m finished it, the least I can do is make sure I’m writing something *I* love. It certainly makes the writing process more enjoyable! And when I’m writing something that’s important to me, it never feels like time wasted, even if I’m not able to send it out into the hands of readers right away. I know that story will always be there waiting for the right time, and since I care so much about it, I don’t mind the wait.

  1. This is a great post. It totally reminds me of my own writing experience.

    When I submitted a short story for the first time and it got picked up I remember thinking, “What is are all these people talking about? This writing business is easy.”

    Man, I was so wrong.

    Since then–August 2009–I’ve managed to have two other stories published, and a whole slew of others get rejected. No doubt, it’s tough. People are going to say you suck and then not publish your work, while others are going to say you’re great and then still not publish your work. Still, those rare instances when someone says, “We’ll take it!” make all the hard work seem totally worth it.

    • We need like buttons for comments. Writing (with the goal of publication) is a tough slog, indeed.
      Congratulations on your published stories, Scott! Nothing like hearing those words, right?

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