Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Wish List

There was an article in the most recent Romance Writers Report called "Surviving Your Career" by six New York Times bestselling authors. It was interesting, yet something occurred to me while reading it that also goes to the complaints I hear from time to time about the overall relevance of Romance Writers of America.

I don't expect RWA to be all things to all romance writers. Frankly, I think some of the complaints are just plain unreasonable for an organization of such a size, with such a diverse group of authors.

But while I was reading that article, I realized that I'd appreciate more articles from and about authors who haven't reached the top of the mountain.

I'd love to hear long-time category authors talk about why they stay in that arena.

I'd be interested to hear from the author whose line has been dropped, maybe more than once. How do they keep going?

What about the writer who, not having achieved sterling sales, switches genres and/or changes names in an effort to reach the top of the mountain? Did it work? Was it a mistake?

If somebody's career has stalled, what happened with their writing friends? Were they still supportive, or did a sense of "you might have cooties" creep into the group? Did family support dwindle, or did having sold even once keep everyone positive?

I'm sure there have been some articles like these in the time I've been in RWA, and people could point them out to me. However, it seems to me that while there are many articles relevant to the unpublished, along with how-to craft articles, market news and what I'd term "inspirational" articles, I don't often find pieces that seem aimed at mid-listers/category authors, unless it's how to get out of there.

I also realize there's a hurdle regarding articles of the sort I'd like to see. Some of these ideas would require admitting a career blunder in a public forum, and/or a lack of success one might prefer to keep to oneself. This is, after all, a competitive business. So I absolutely understand why people wouldn't want to talk about their struggles.

Nevertheless, I'd love to see more articles for and about those not up and out of the trenches, or trying to get into the trenches, but who have been there for awhile, may always be there and those who are happy to stay there.


Christine d'Abo said...

That is a great idea, Margaret. Even as an unpublished author I would have enjoyed reading about "what to do if" situations. It lets people know that beyond the first sale, it's not all wine and roses.

Margaret Moore said...

Thanks, Christine, and congratulations on your book's release! May your publishing waters be smooth!