Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Guest Blog Helena Pielichaty

Seven Stages of A Writer

1 You begin to write. You don’t know where it comes from, this strange urge,
all you know is that you have to do it.

2 You want to learn more about this writing lark. You begin to attend creative writing classes or seek out like-minded folk. You polish your work. Feedback is positive. Deep down, you know you’ve got something here; something out of the norm. People suggest you send things off.

3 Upon your first attempt/after many years (delete where appropriate) you find an agent and a publisher. Your first book does reasonably well. It goes into reprint and makes back the advance quite quickly. Reviews are flattering.

4 You become established. Your publisher is happy with your output, offering contracts automatically and talking about marketing plans. You are part of the festival circuit. Your bound proofs go out with gimmicks attached to them. Foreign rights are sold. There is recognition when librarians hear your name. You are having to write faster than before, providing more and more titles for the particular niche you inhabit.

5 Sales start to slacken off. Your latest title does not go into reprint with quite such alacrity. You receive letters from your publisher informing you that earlier titles are being taken out of print. Festival appearances dwindle. It takes longer for your agent/publisher to respond to your emails. Visits to bookshops, once a pure joy, are now tinged with anxiety and envy. Why aren’t all my titles on the shelf? How come he/she is on the three-for-two and not me?

6 Your new book is rejected. Your publisher dumps you. Your agent is soothing but has other clients to tend to. You are no longer in vogue. You vow to give up writing forever. It’s all a crock anyway, full of wannabes and untalented clebs…

7 You begin to write. You don’t know where it comes from, this strange urge, all you know is that you have to do it.


catherine johnson said...

So true!

adele said...

AND you can be reborn many times, Helena! Your Football series will be the beginning of a new dawn...wait and see. And weren't you shortlisted for Accidental Friends? I think too often success is translated into £££ where it's often lots of other stuff. Your readers, eg.
Chin up!

Nick Green said...


I went from 1 to 3 and then straight to 6! Some day I hope to get round the carousel again and see what 4 and 5 feel like.