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Looking into writers
Problems and possible solutions
As an aspiring writer I know how hard it is to get started. Finding the inspiration to pick up a pen alone can be difficult. The writing in and of itself is probably one of the most trying industries in existence. With deadlines and fickle publicists surviving in this industry is a struggle. Not to mention the skill it takes to come up with something worth being put into a book. Those are just the struggles for authors who have published at least on book. The difficulties for unknown authors are far more numerous. It is because of these difficulties that many aspiring writers lose hope and fall into different career fields. Beginning writers are not prepared to face these difficulties and because of this we are losing the opportunity to read new and exciting written art.
Inspiration is said to be a gift from a muse. Matrix of Mnemosyne gives a little bit of information on muses. A muse is a goddesses who inspire artists, musicians, writers and poets. For those of us who don’t have a goddess peaking over our shoulders inspiration is hard to come by. Struggling to think of something that hasn’t been done yet is a persistent ordeal. There are also the worries of sounding too generic, too bland, and too repetitive. A writer wants to keep its reader interested and on the edge of their seats. If the reader puts the book down after the first few chapters the writer knows that he or she truly didn’t complete their job. Also a writer is their own worst critic. If a writer fears there is something wrong with their writing they will find it hard to get inspired. I am a victim of this.
Once you get passed the inspiration issue and manage to complete a manuscript it’s time to send your work out to publication companies. This whole process is enough to raise your stress level tenfold. The reason behind this is mainly that somebody other than close family and friends is going to be reading your work and judging it. The company’s decision can change your life and waiting to hear back from them is agonizing.
Now getting an agent can come before or after the publication process. Most people will recommend getting an agent beforehand so the publication company doesn’t take advantage of the writer. Finding an agent on your own is rather complicated though. It’s true also that many publication companies won’t even look at your manuscript unless the writer has an agent. This can become a hindrance. The point though is to not lose hope. There are publishing companies that will look at your manuscript without an agent. There are even “self publishing” companies. About.com goes into more about self publishing. Self-publishing is the act of publishing your work independently of an established publishing house.
Back to looking at agents, agents are in charge of promoting authors and handling other literary needs and services. This can include contacting the publisher and any managers that may be involved in the publication process. For their services they take a portion of your royalties for their payment. The average price for an agent is 15% commission on the books they sell and everything relating to that book, such as excerpted magazine articles, audio tapes and films (but not speeches and personal appearances). Agents usually receive 20% for overseas sales.
Getting known, or becoming a popular author, is almost impossible without an agent or publicist. If you are trying to become a known author on your own it means a lot of foot work and self advertising which could cost more money than you initially have to spend. This is becoming less of an issue though, but an issue all the same. Self-publishing companies are now starting to develop publicist departments. These departments help get your name out there for the readers and maybe future publishers.
There is a way though to help aspiring writers prepare for these complications and hardships. The first solution is to write a straight to the point “How To” book. The other option is to create a class you can take in college that is meant just for writers and aspiring writers.
A straight to the point “How To” book would be difficult to produce seeing how there is no true guide for writing. If something like this was created though it would be extremely useful to writers as a solid source to refer to. With this book though there is a chance that it could be mixed up with the other writing books and eventually be forgotten. Plus the time and money invested into making this product would be too much for information that might possibly become outdated.
The college class for aspiring writers would take time and money but it will prove more useful than the quick fix of a book. The hands on learning and instruction from the professor would sink in easier than reading words on a page. Even with an instruction manual someone can make a mistake. In the class the instructor can cover the difficulties of the writing field all the while help develop the students skills.
I choose the class as a better solution to this issue. It can prove to be a whole lot more useful than the “How To” book. I mainly suggest this solution because I, myself am a hands on learner. I learn better when someone with experience in the field is teaching. Also it would be a cheaper and faster, yet more productive, way to solving the issue.