Beth Cato on the realities of writing

Go check out Beth Cato’s essay “ACME Anvils and the Long Unicorn Ride to Publication” on Chuck Wendig’s blog. You’ll be glad you did.

When you’re a writer, it’s all about trading up to a better set of problems. You start out just wanting the time and/or brain power to write. Then you want to be published–validated–in any kind of way. And published again. If you’re a novelist going the traditional route, acquiring an agent is the first big goal. And when you get that agent, it’s like you’ve been handed the reins to a sparkly unicorn who will take you to magical realms where chocolate has no calories and all your publication dreams will come true.

My own journey started at a timid crawl. I trunked several novels and then worked for years on an urban fantasy about a healer. I did several from-scratch rewrites. I LOVED that book. After all that labor, I had two agents offer me representation. I had a sparkling unicorn at last! I was off to the land of book contracts and purring fuzzy kittens.

No one talks about the ugly truth: that even with an agent, a lot of first novels don’t sell.


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