So there's this essay that was published at Salon.com back in 2004 that has reemerged on the Internets. It first came to my attention on Facebook, but then I saw others retweeting it on Twitter. It's definitely worth looking at if you're serious about becoming a writer (and by that I mean a writer who dreams of one day quitting the day job and writing for a living). It is ... eye-opening. Honestly, I've been hearing the same thing for years now that this particular writer's story seems to be almost every writer's story. It's like American Idol -- everyone dreams of making it big, but only a few actually get there (but because of those few, everyone thinks they can make it). And how does one do so? By talent? By determination? By luck? That, of course, is up for debate, and I'd like to use the comment section of this post for that very thing. So read the essay and tell me your thoughts. But don't expect the essay to cheer you up. This excerpt gives you an idea what you're getting into:
As Promised: The Unexpurgated, Possibly Unfinished History of One Midlist Author's Life
Several publishers vying to buy book means book sells at auction for big advance. Big advance means big publicity budget. Big publicity budget means promotion handled by publicity director, which means reviews in top newspapers, excerpts in top magazines, TV and radio appearances, four weeks on two bestseller lists, seven-city tour. Publisher (Mr. Big) sends handwritten note, thanking me for "writing the great book we all knew you had it in you to write."