I love chatting about books, writing, editing, the publishing process, e-books, and the entire crazy business these days. The last few days have been filled with that type of talk, including coffee with fellow Wizards of the Coast writers here in Seattle, and an online interview that the author called "Dramedy, Dungeons, and Dragons."
Because of the interview with Tracy, I was reminded of my very first book sale: an exciting and rather tough assignment that included my editor leaving the publishing business to raise llamas. "Does this happen to you often?" asked Tracy. I had to admit only one of my editors has ever quit to raise Peruvian pack animals.
But I grew up in family with a fair amount of writing credits. Along the line, I did absorb the idea that selling of your work isn't always under your control (the character and quality of your writing is very much under your control or should be!). Strange circumstances can cause your editors and your publishers to kill a project just as quickly as the desire to flee to the hills with woolly mammals.
So, in this same week, when another writing friend posted about how depressed he was about a pair of rejection letters, I wrote back that rejections often have little to do with the writing quality and much to do with life's peculiar circumstances. His response: "are you determined to rain on my pity parade?"
Because the editors can quit, you can lose contests, the projects can limp into dismal ends, entire publishing companies can disappear (I just got a letter from one that is shutting down in 2011), but eventually your writing will find a home. The writing life isn't a tragedy, or a comedy, but often a dramedy. And it's still the best show in town.