Tag Archives: Writers

Feeling Insignificant? Read this….

I came upon this quote in the excellent Writers’ Services newsletter: 

‘It does no harm to repeat as often as you can “Without me the literary industry would not exist: the publishers, the agents, the sub-agents, the sub-sub agents, the accountants, the libel lawyers, the departments of literature, the professors, the theses, the books of criticism, the reviewers, the book pages – all this vast and proliferating edifice is because of this small, patronised, put-down and underpaid person.”‘

Doris Lessing

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So, don’t undervalue yourself. Doubt should not make an end of you. It’s only proof that you want to write the best story possible.

Writers are often quiet and self-effacing people, but to succeed these days we have to sell ourselves. There’s no escaping that. It takes effort and self-belief (and probably a website, a blog and social media ‘friends’ and followers). 

At the core of it all is the writing. If you believe in that, then maybe people of influence will too, those who feed off your talent to keep publishing running.

Rachel Carson put it well:

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If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in, the chances are very high that you will interest other people as well.

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Collective Nouns for the Book World

There are a lot of amusing and beguiling collective nouns for creatures, such as a parliament of owls, a murder of crows, a charm of goldfinches, a clowder of cats, a kindle of kittens, a murmuration of starlings, a sloth of bears and an ambush of tigers.

Collective nouns for professions are less common, but they do exist. Should you have a group of butlers, they’d be known as a draught. Jurors are collectively known as a damning, while the rise of portrait painters in the Renaissance, who sometimes painted flattering representations of their wealthy clients, led to them being called a misbelief of painters. Personal relationships have resulted in less than happy collective nouns: a group of husbands is an unhappiness, while wives are an impatience.

After knuckling down to another campaign of querying recently, I found myself wondering about what to call writers, agents, publishers and readers en masse.

* Writers working alone—a loneliness.

* Rejected writers—a frustration.

* Traditionally published authors—a smugness.

* Self-published authors—a hopefulnessor maybe a defiance.

* Literary agents—an elusiveness.

* Publishers—a haughtiness.

* Editorsa punctiliousness.

* Professional book critics—a fickleness.

* Online book critics—a bitchiness.

* Readers—a diffidence.

Any more ideas?

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