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The Psychological Structure of the Publishing Industry: Writers and Authors are the Children, Literary Agents Are the (Good or Bad) Parents and Publishers Call the Shots

29 Apr

Today, we examine the structure of the publishing industry, trying to figure out why you may feel so lousy pursuing a literary career. (Unless you’re one of the anointed few making mega-bucks with your scribblings. I doubt that feels lousy.)

We’re going to take three different points of view, which add up to very similar conclusions. My fellow authors, Ruth Harris & Anne R. Allen, wrote a great blog article about Writers’ Masochism. That refers to writers taking personal garbage and ill-treatment that no one in any other industry would.

Except maybe law, our second point of view on this issue. Here’s a link an article by Will Meyerhoff, an attorney and psychotherapist. If you read Mr. Meyerhoff’s article, I think you’ll agree that the legal profession and publishing industry have much in common.
Professionally, I was an economist, negotiation coach, businesswoman, and horse rancher before entering the writing field. I have a couple of Master’s degrees, including one in counseling. I took my counseling degree in a program stressing family structure and systems––how the family’s unspoken rules work to keep some family members powerless and unhappy and allow others to be fat cats, throwing their weight around. This background served me well when I started writing seriously.

I entered the world of writing after an explosive personal experience back in 1995. I jumped into writing groups and editors and writing full time. Once I had written work and needed a publisher, I became acutely aware of of the structure of the literary/publication world. At the bottom of the triangle were hordes of wannabe authors––and they had to be published and traditionally, only. That’s all that mattered.

The Real Reward of Writing

21 Mar

I’m redoing my website, and bopped onto Amazon to check a fact about one of my books. I noticed that it had a new review. I froze. This is a tender moment for an author. I’ve gotten reviews that were so complementary that I practically levitated. And––like any author who’s been published for more than two weeks––I’ve gotten reviews where the reviewer thought that tar and feathering was too good for my book––and me.

I was in pretty good mood. Should I look at the review and chance wrecking it? Yes. No. Yes. No. Well, what the hell.

As I read the review, my eyes filled and I started to tremble. I was so moved. I’ve gotten lots of very good reviews by wonderfully articulate readers, but something about Glenda A. Bixler’s review moved me.

I thought about it. Why was this review so touching? Because Glenda got me. She understood me and what my writing’s about and captured it. I thought about that some more and realized that the connection that Glenda and I shared through The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy was a heart connection. What I want more than anything is that kind of connection from my readers.

How to Finish Books, Find True Love, and Live, Write, and Speak from the Heart

14 Mar

I’ve wanted to get to know you. The you you. The you beyond the hype. I’ve finally found a way to introduce myself, the real me. I gave a talk at our local book store, The Book Loft in Solvang, CA the day before Valentine’s Day. I hate Valentine’s Day. The talk was recorded and the link below will magically transport you to YouTube, where I’ll tell you why I hate the famous day of hearts and flowers. I’ll share a lot of other things with you, too. How I write. “Literature through disaster,” is my own personally trademarked term to express how my soul transforms personal wipe-outs into books. It may work for you too.