whadda ya MEAN you don’t care if you get published?

This is the post where I make a lot of enemies.


I read your ten-page chapter.  It is single-spaced, chock-full of typos, grammatical errors and syntax lapses.  I dutifully correct every single one.

I highlight every place where you tell, rather than show.

I help you role play your dialogue.

I reconfigure your story arc.

I replace your lackluster action verbs.

I use my time and brain cells on your manuscript…

…and you don’t care if it gets published.

What. The. Hell.


I know we are are all progressing at a different pace.  Some of us are driven by inner demons, some by clocks ticking, others by the bill collector.  Some of us have to divide our time between opposing duties.  I get that.

And our dreams differ.  While you might be happy to be published in a regional magazine, I really want to have a career as a YA novelist.  Both are cool aspirations.

But all of us should be progressing toward our goals:


What good is it to write something that doesn’t make it off your laptop?  Or any farther than your critique group?  If you don’t want to be published, just what in the name of helvetica are you looking for?

Do you want a table of people to tell you once a month that you’re talented?

I won’t do it.  Even if you are talented.  Because it’s a waste of my time and effort.  And I don’t have that much.  It’s a waste of yours too.

If you’re going to write at all, you might as well do it for real.


About Lisha Cauthen

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

Posted on December 21, 2009, in writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on whadda ya MEAN you don’t care if you get published?.

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