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Omega Diary & Articles

PATH TO PUBLISHING

I’m self-published. I have tried to get published since 1977, but no one in the publishing industry thinks my writing is worth a hill of beans. So finally I said, “Screw ‘em all.”

Actually, I counted over 1,400 rejection letters over the years before I gave up counting. These numbers does not reflect screenplay rejections. So my path to publishing has been flavored with the bitterness of one rejection after another. The only summation I can make is that I must have needed to get beat up verbally or in writing—kicked and punched emotionally—causing me to never give up one of my dearest loves in this lifetime—writing.

When JK Rowling finished HARRY POTTER not one literary agent in the UK took her book seriously. They all turned her down. Then a very small publishing house said they’d publish it because it’s an interesting story but “don’t expect to make any money off Harry Potter.” Later, I saw JK Rowling a TV special. They asked a few literary agents and publishers why they had turned her down, and they all claimed they had never heard of her prior to her fame. Of course, they were lying since JK Rowling had copies of their rejection letters. No self-appointed expert wants anyone to know their opinion is just another comment in a sea of intellectual discussion, especially since JK Rowling has now earned over $500,000 in her writing career. In the old days, a publisher who had turned down a book that had became a best seller would have said, “Yeah, we made the wrong decision on that one.” Now they just lie about it.

I’m not saying I’m a great writer. That’s for the reader to decide. However, I’m against the “gatekeepers,” more commonly known as literary agents, in and around the publishing industry who do not have an ounce of creativity flowing in their blood and yet they control what is sent to a publisher and what gets filed under ‘G’ for garbage.

Originally, Lucas could not sell anyone on the idea of Stars Wars. Then a studio agreed to make the movie only if George would waive his fees for writing and directing the movie, etc. He’d only be paid a percentage if and when Star Wars earned a profit, which of course eventually made him a billion dollars.

William Goldman, who was a famous pulp fiction writer from the ‘60s and ‘70s, could not sell the screenplay, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, to anyone. After over six months of pedaling the screenplay in Hollywood a few studies bid on it because Newman and Redford were now interested.

Getting published or selling a screenplay to the ‘establishment’ can be no more that the luck of the draw, but yes, there’s serious talent out there. Unfortunately, a lot of undiscovered talent is destroyed by rejection and the onslaught of despair and defeat. Writing is not for the faint of heart.

A secondary note: The key to writing is not just a good story or an idea. The power in the written word is in the editing. I spend as much time in the editing process as I do in the writing. For me, writing is easy. It’s the editing that’s so difficult. Now the difficulty will be trying to find readers who will take my writing seriously. Then again, the READER is KING, not the publishing industry or the literary agents.

If the readers of the world do not want to read my work, or if they want to ignore it, I’ll accept that judgment—fair is fair.

What is the important thing here? At the end of this lifetime, I want to look back and say, “I tried to do my best. No regrets.” If I fail in this lifetime, then by God’s grace, I’ll get it right in the next lifetime. I am grateful life is cyclical.

G. Paul Grondin
September 2011



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