How To Remain Unpublished

Here are the top ten ways to guarantee that you never get published:

  • 10:  Actually believe that your mother knows more about the publishing industry than the professionals do.
  •  9:  Don’t let yourself get bogged down with learning the craft. You probably know it all anyway.
  •  8:  Become addicted to Facebook & Twitter, and then wonder why you never have time to work on your manuscript.
  •  7:  Embrace paranoia by assuming that every piece of criticism is actually aimed at you and your mother personally.
  •  6:  Chose 4000 cable channels, the top-end smartphone plane, and eating out several times a week as more important that buying writing books and going to conferences.
  •  5:  Even though you’re unpublished and know everything, assume that other unpublished writers don’t know anything about writing becasue…well, they’re unpublished.
  •  4:  Wait for the publishing industry to wise up to your writing prowess, rather than learning what it takes to get published. So why waste time on them?
  •  3:  Send a nasty note to each agent or publisher that rejects your obviously brilliant manuscript. Or go on Facebook and say bad things about them.
  •  2:  When an editor says that you have a severe POV problem, respond by saying that you’ll get right in to see your doctor because he probably “has a cream for that.”

And the number one way to insure that you never get published:

  •  1:  Never finish a manuscript. Just keep polishing the same three chapters…year after year after year.

Any other suggestions?


Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, editing, Writing

24 responses to “How To Remain Unpublished

  1. Mary Gessner

    This is great! If my printer was working, I’d print a copy and tape it to my forehead so it would never leave my sight. 🙂

  2. OK! Great post, sir. Though, I will say, my first three chapters are darn fine by now!

  3. Excellent tips for the procrastinator in every one of us, haha.

  4. You missed the most obvious one – sit and dither about an obscure plot point that nobody will ever notice. Make sure you contemplate it and work out every possible permutation before writing another thing. After all, it might factor about 77 books into the series you’re contemplating. Nothing can be too perfect when it comes time to dazzle the publisher.

  5. I’ve read about another one. When an editor or agent requests a proposal or full manuscript, don’t send it. Apparently a lot of people do this for reasons I don’t quite understand.

  6. Keep saying you’re too busy and can never seem to find the time to write

    • JoAnn,
      It is amazing what we let soak up our time. And it’s also amazing how–most of the time–we seem to be able to find time to do the things we REALLY want to do. Thanks for chiming in.

  7. Loved this post and the way you counted backwards! The first and foremost way I know to squash your dream of getting published is to compare yourself to others. Be authentic if nothing else.

    • Jude,
      Thanks for the great point. Sometimes I read books by my favorite writers and think “I can’t do this!” But I know that God didn’t call me to be them. Thanks again for the comment.

  8. Another great post, Larry. I will be sharing with other writers at a programme next week here in Tasmania ans will be sharing this with them – especially your blog address!
    Can I add two more?
    Stop submitting after a couple of rejections. (Thankfully it was my 14th submission that was successful!)
    Don’t start another novel until you sell that first one – which after all is only your “apprentice” novel. (Unfortunately this is what I did during those 13 years of rejections and then could have had another 13 manuscripts ready!)

    • Thanks, Mary. I’m super glad (notice the modifier!) that you’re going to share this list, and even more excited that you’re going to share my blog address also. You’ve just made my day.
      And your additions are great.

  9. Another great blog, Larry. I especially liked #10. My mom is my biggest fan. 😉 Loved all the comments, too.

  10. Carolyn Boyles

    How about submit all your manuscripts and cover letters in longhand by snail mail? And if the editor wanted multiple copies, have done them with carbon paper.

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