amateur writers

Your humble and obedient servant has been awaiting correspondence from an agent in whom she is particularly interested.  Luckily, said servant knows someone who knows someone who is acquainted with a highly placed source who has ascertained that this agent is completely snowed under with an abundance of queries, and has battened her hatches (isn’t accepting any more queries) until she can clear the decks. (WARNING: Metaphor limit approaching.)

Oh, well.  I suppose that’s better than agent-in-question hopping a freight to Bora-Bora. (Limit achieved.)



My husband tells me that one of his colleagues at work is retiring, and his wife is telling him he should write a children’s book.  BECAUSE HE KNOWS ABOUT MAPS.




“All the Joe and Jane Schmos out there who can’t get jobs have mutually decided they are all qualified to become writers. Why not? They have nothing better to do. How hard could it be?” (From Red Light, Green Light: A Writer’s Walk, blog by L.C. Gant )

wheresmydisintegratorLooks like agents are being smothered in an avalanche of queries from people who think they’ll make a fast buck.  Oh, you silly, silly people.  Get out while the gettin’s good.  I don’t know whether to hate you or pity you.

Okay, I’ve decided


How would you like it if I came to your barber shop with a pair of scissors?  Measuring square feet doesn’t make me an engineer, taking a temperature doesn’t make me a doctor.  And writing an e-mail or a letter doesn’t make you a writer.

If you suddenly find yourself laid off and writing is your life-long dream, then I am right behind you, cheering every keystroke.  Join a critique group.  Learn the business.  Work and sweat like the rest of us, and I will respect you, whether you came from an MFA program or an A&P.  But if you think it’s easy money to tide you over until something better comes along, do me a favor.

Rob a bank instead.

Because you are tying up the agents I need to correspond with.  It is because of YOU the agents are going to stop taking unrequested queries, like many publishing houses.  And then how am I, a professionally-behaving, but novice writer, going to break into the business?

I am a pre-published writer.

You, my friend, are an amateur.


About Lisha Cauthen

Lisha Cauthen writes YA novels for guys that girls like to read too.

Posted on February 23, 2009, in writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. LOL. I feel your anger. Ok, ok, I’m not published but I am working on it and agented. I had dinner with friends the other day and we were lamenting a recent job loss and brainstorming money ideas when Friend 1 turned to Job-Loss Friend and said, with me right there, “Well, you could always just write a book, couldn’t you?” And then, thumbing at me, “She did it.” Implication: So aaaaaanyone could do it.

  2. You tell ’em, Lisha! It makes me crazy too!

    Judy H.

  3. You are my hero. Well said.

  4. Thanks for having my back, girls!

  5. GREAT post. I laughed out loud. Sadly, it’s all true and I couldn’t agree with you more!

  6. Great post, Lisha! Very well said. Heaven help us if people decide to practice medicine or engineering the way they try to write sometimes! Thanks again for the blog shout-out. I love meeting other writers 🙂

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