Mincemeat: on writing
10 Unrequested Suggestions Made to an Unpublished Novelist

One of the most painful experiences of a hopeful writer is to have to confess their desires to non-writers. Invariably, these confessions produce some outlandish (and after awhile, predictable) responses. Shannon was offered most of these suggestions multiple times. These non-writers were only trying to be kind and helpful. Hopefully unpublished writers may look over this list, see things they themselves often hear, and have a cheery laugh.

  1. "Why donít you just write to Oprah for help?"
  2. "You know what you should do? Write a book like Harry Potter."
  3. "Why donít you write something that people want to read—like Self-Help?"
  4. "Youíre writing fiction? When my husbandís through being a lawyer, heíll write non-fiction. He wants to do something important. Iím not saying the world doesnít need fiction writers, itís just he just wants to write something that really matters."
  5. "Why donít you just write newspaper articles?"
  6. "You need to do something to grab the editorís attention to get noticed. Write your cover letter in colorful, wacky font and send the manuscript with chocolate."
  7. "Just self-publish and make millions like the guy that wrote The Christmas Box."
  8. "You should be a John Grisham or Tom Clancy kind of writer."
  9. "You live in Utah. Ask the Osmonds for help."
  10. "I donít understand why you canít get published. Bad books get published all the time." (OUCH!)

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