Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting Permission to Write

Most writers are looking for someone to give them permission to write. Many go looking for a call from God or approval from an agent or recognition from a publisher. What writers are looking for is someone to say, “You’re good enough to be an author. Be fruitful and publish.”

Publishers are looking for something else, a little thing called platform. If we consider that, publishers aren’t in the business of giving people permission to write. Publishers are looking for those people who come to them saying, “I’d don’t need your approval. I’m going to be out here doing my thing and getting my message out. If you want part of the action, come on. If not, that’s your loss.”

The only successful writers are those who take the bull by the horns and do it, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to other people. My family and friends have been more enthusiastic about my writing than I have been. They think my books are better than I think they are. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, isn’t it? I heard about one woman who divorced her husband because she didn’t think he was supportive enough of her writing. My first thought was, ew, that’s not right. Then I began to wonder, just how bad is her writing if her own husband, the father of her children, doesn’t find her creditable as a writer? Maybe she doesn’t need permission to write. What she needs to do is just stop writing.

Just because we have the gumption to write without the approval of others doesn’t mean that we have something worth saying or that we have the skill we need. All I can say is that if you are waiting around for permission, you aren’t going to get it.