Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Dear Publisher: crisis of faith

Dear Publisher:

I have been writing now with at least a little facility for almost 40 years. And though over that time I had my moments, it is only in the past five years that I not only became very dedicated, but I also got really good at it. I got so good that I started to think "Hey, I could go pro!" I work at a library and I see professional writers' work all the time and I swear I can hardly open up a book anymore without thinking "I can totally do this!" Maybe not Jane Austen or James Joyce, but possibly Rex Stout, I'm pretty sure Jodi Picoult, and definitely Kazuo Ishiguro. So I began to contact publishers like yourself. Over a few years I contacted 93 professional publishers (like yourself) and not a single one of them thought I was ready to go pro.

I had to face a reckoning: Should I believe 93 writing community professionals whose very livelihood depends upon their acute evaluations of the quality of writing, or should I believe in myself.

I decided to believe in myself!

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Good choice!"

But I was a little nervous about it because 93 sober, intelligent professionals were a lot to go up against. So I looked to the Internet. I typed in a search for believe-in-yourself quotes thinking I could find inspiration from the authors I most admired. But it turns out that while there are an almost endless array of quotes by famous people about believing in oneself, not a single one of them was by a real author. Not even Kazuo Ishiguro, if that would count.

Here is a partial list of the people who told me, in no uncertain terms, to believe in myself:

Norman Vincent Peale

Miley Cyrus

Martina McBride

Mark Cuban

Paris Hilton


Wayne Dyer

Johnny Unitas

Oscar Pistorius (!)


Donny Osmond

So, I'm feeling a little confused right now, and I'll have to get back to you later.

Thank you for your time.

F. Calypso

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