Interesting reading for today. The interview with Junger was really encouraging to me. I love the idea of just writing whatever you want and then pitching it, as opposed to writing what people want to hear. I know that doesn't usually work out so well for writers, but it's always fun to read about someone that did it successfully. It was significant to me, too, the stories he sought out. He was interested in dangerous jobs, so he sought them out and wrote about them. I would like to be that ballsy, to just go for whatever topic interests me and write about it, just determine to MAKE it worth reading because I think it is. I would like to think of myself that way, but I know the professional writing world is a lot more pressurized than college writing... so maybe I'll sell out. Who knows.
The last section of Telling True Stories was definitely the stuff I don't think about as much-- agents, publishing, promoting, advances. Not my favorite stuff to deal with but it was good to get some tips. I feel like the business side is often not the strong point of a writer, so maybe we're all in the same boat with this. O'Nan's rules were helpful but basically the same rules that every other writer in this book has given us. I did think it was interesting what Atwan said on page 276, that the advance means nothing about how successful your book will be. The publisher can still back off and publish a small number of copies if they decide they don't think it'll sell. After the description of how competitive this field is, it seems like it would be hard to find a publisher that would stick by you, as Atwan suggests you do. I love writing but the selling part sounds like it sucks. Bottom line, though, I guess, is that you'll do it if you love it enough. I wonder if anyone in our class is planning on pitching their final pieces for this class to any publications besides Lake Voice and the Statesman, and how they're going about that? I would be interested in having a longer discussion about that.