One unfortunate thing about living in Malaysia is the way I am so cut off from other sff* writers and from the vibrant sff community one finds in so many other countries. So it was great to have Donna – an editor and writer – staying with me, even if it was only for a few days.
I probably talked her to death.
Among other things we chatted about were some of the unanswerable questions about writing and publishing. I’ve been thinking this some more and here is my list of 10 (unanswerable) Mysteries about Publishing and Writing:
1. Why poorly crafted books sometimes hit bestseller lists and make a fortune for their authors
2. Why well-written, entertaining, thoughtful books sometimes flop catastrophically
3. Why writers/agents/publishers can’t figure out the answer to the above two questions after all these years…
4. Why so many people think that:
a) writing a book is easy
b) getting it published is only hard because “you have to know someone in the business”
c) writing is lucrative
5. Why many wannabe writers:
a) don’t read
b) don’t buy books and support the industry they hope will support them
6. When a struggling writer, trying unsuccessfully to get published, should give up trying
7. Why genre is so despised, sometimes even by those who write it
8. Why many sf writers/readers look down on fantasy (and occasionally vice versa)
9. Whether books will survive the computer/visual media age
10. And why on earth do I spend most of my days sitting at a computer writing anyway, when I could be out there earning twice as much doing other things?
*science fiction and fantasy