Guest Blog About Never Giving Up

I’ve written a guest blog for the Writers and Artists website about why writers sometimes give up too soon in their quest for an agent. You can read it here.


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6 Responses to Guest Blog About Never Giving Up

  1. Richard MacKay says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been publishing smaller poetry and art booklets with Amazon, so probably will not be looking for an agent, but I’m trying to expand my knowledge of the publishing and sales end of writing.

    • claudia says:

      Hi Richard, I’m afraid I haven’t a clue about the sales end, which is why I’m glad to have acquired an agent who can help me with all that. If I can find a publisher, that is. Very good luck to you.

  2. Fiona says:

    I gave up when I realised I had reached the point where there was nothing wrong with my craft – what I had to do was hit the right agent on the right day with the right story.

    This is the part that all the writing courses don’t tell you about. The bit that is totally, utterly down to luck.

    I had an approximate 50% request for manuscript rate on my preliminary letter, so it was unlikely there was anything wrong with my pitch.

    Agents often sent handwritten notes back with their standard response – ‘great writing’ ‘loved the story’ ‘send me your next manuscript’ (I did). This is not a thing that happens routinely when you submit a manuscript.

    But in the end you realise that you are spending a year or more writing something that no one is ever going to read. You have great writing, but it doesn’t ever ‘grab’ an agent. You have an amazing story but the ‘audience just isn’t there’ it won’t ‘sell on any scale’ or it’s ‘not for me, but another agent will really love this’ (they won’t). Or, ‘We love this, could you send a photo?’ (yes) (manuscript comes flying back by return of post without even a standard refusal).

    Eight years. Seven books, written while also working 50+ hours a week in another job. There comes a time when you realise you just can’t do it any more.

    • claudia says:

      I’m sorry to hear this, Fiona. I absolutely agree with you. There is a huge element of luck in the whole process. The right agent at the right desk on the right day. That’s what it takes. I’m sure there are loads of gifted writers and brilliant books out there which never see the light of day. It really is unbearably cruel. Are you still writing? If it’s something you enjoy doing for yourself, I hope you carry on regardless. If not, then I understand there comes a time when you have to say, no more. Best of luck to you in either case.

  3. Patricia m Symons says:

    Hello-can anyone be kind enough to suggest how short a novel can be? I’ve written a book-albeit scruffy-unfinished-and seriously wonder if a novella can be offered? And how many words?

    Many thanks to anyone kind enough to reply.

    Trish Symons.

    • claudia says:

      Hi Trish. I believe a novella is anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words. Most novels come in at 70,000 plus, so there seems to be a grey area between 50k and 70k which doesn’t fall into any category. Less than 20,000 and you’re looking at either a novelette or a long short story.
      I know someone who had a novella published, her first piece of published writing, so it can be done.
      Hope that helps.

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