Writing Thoughts

Writing Thoughts

First of all, long-overdue congrats to Debra Schubert, who has managed to land an agent. I’m thrilled for her, and actually unsurprised – she’s professional, witty, and a terrific writer. It was only a matter of time. Go Debra!

Ironically, there have been a lot of posts lately on why people don’t need an agent. Author Jeaniene Frost, however, rather sums up my feelings on the subject:

Agents play a vital role in publishing and will continue to do so, even in this brave new digital era. The fact that the vast majority of published authors are agented – even mega-successful authors who could scribble a book idea on a napkin and still have editors throw money at them for it – seems to illustrate the point that an agent’s value lies in more than making a sale or reading contracts.

I really don’t want to end up where my father did, thanks – he went unagented, and the publishers raked him over the coals with legal loopholes on just about every book he published.

New York City, 2009

However, it’s important to remember that your dreams are not in the hands of these editors and agents and scary people. Our dreams are on OUR hands, as Editorial Anonymous says so well. This is very valuable advice. It means rejections won’t make you quit.

Of course, that doesn’t mean waiting isn’t hard (as Nathan Bransford now knows personally, bwahaha.) But hey, if waiting and rejections aren’t your thing, then there is a solution. BEHOLD THE KEY TO NO MORE REJECTIONS EVER. (Does that Janet Reid know what she’s talking about, or what?)

New York City, 2009

I see it over and over again from authors, agents, and editors: the key to getting published is a refusal to quit. This doesn’t mean refusing to learn, or refusing to hone your craft, or refusing to listen to constructive criticism. It does mean writing every day. It does mean continually producing new work and honing things. It does mean nodding when you receive rejection – and moving on.

It means a lot of waiting. That’s all right. I am meant to write, and I am in this for the long haul. Nothing will make me stop.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.