Sunday, January 27, 2013

We Are the Ninety Percenters

I recently discovered the blog of a publishing truth teller. He begins his forthrightness with the blog title The Musings and Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

This is publishing honesty straight down to its fragile bone structure. The best we who comment can do is pass on our musings. The next best we can do is blunder through and hope we blunder artfully.

The post I have linked you with emphasizes that this is your writing career and nobody else’s. Scott admonishes us never to forget that. He says it this way.

“Even if you have a big agent or publisher supporting you, it is still your career. At the heart of it is still you alone at a keyboard or with a notepad in your hand, don’t lose sight of that.”

He also lets us know that with ownership of our careers comes ownership of responsibility for those careers. We dump that responsibility on an agent or editor or manager at our own peril.

Scott goes so far as to put a number on the degree of this ownership and responsibility. A larger number than even I would have proposed. I am now rethinking that lower number position.

“Writing a book, in my opinion, is only 10 percent of this gig,” Scott says. “The rest is marketing or PR. It’s what we do to get an agent or a publisher. It’s what we do afterwards in trying to get people to buy our books.”

10 percent of our work effort to writing – 90 percent to the rest. For most of us this is a radical realignment of priorities – an even more radical reallocation of time and energy and head room.

OMG we’re talking about CHANGE!!! Shall we emit a collective EEK altogether right now?

This is all about facing the music. And the truth is that the music of getting from unpublished to published or from listlessly to energetically published is rocking along faster than ever before.

If we intend to keep step we must dance faster too. Maybe not just faster but differently. Maybe a ninety percent dance this time around the floor.

Some will say – “I didn’t get into this to become a marketer. I just want to write.” That is a legitimate stance – as long as getting published and then selling that published work is not at the top of your expectations list.

Otherwise once we’ve stepped up – the next step is to reconfigure our priorities and alignments. If it is any comfort to you – I will be fast dancing right by your side.

Does this post ring true to you? You will find much more of the same in my book on writing and getting your writing published No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing a Manuscript that Sells available at

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