Five Thoughts with Renee Miller: Publishing Edition

I already did a five thoughts post, but lately I’ve had a lot of writing/publishing thoughts that I think should be shared. So, as I did the first time, I’m just going to free write the first five that come into my head. Cool? You know it is.

Here we go.

  1. Is ANYTHING fair? Seriously, life isn’t fair. Publishing isn’t fair. The average pay rate isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that every time I want something sugary in this house, someone else has already eaten it. I hate everything. Most of all, I hate that I bust my ass and see just tiny fragments of success while that piece of shit over there doesn’t work half as hard and he’s all “Oooh, look at me on the bestseller list.”

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Fuck that guy.

  1. I think submission guidelines are the publisher’s revenge for all of the shitty writing they have to read in the slush pile. I mean, sometimes the things they ask for are just ridiculous. I get that they have to weed out the lazy fuckers, but damn, guys. Just damn. Sometimes the ones who aren’t lazy are all “I don’t have time for this shit when you’re paying me less than 1 cent per word.” But I’d totally do it for the pro markets. Cut off my left arm? Okay. You got it. Sacrifice a goat on the fifth Saturday after the first quarter moon? Done. Do a triple back flip, followed by the two-step, and end with a downward dog on a bed of knives? Pfft. Hold my beer and make note of my PayPal email.

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I got this shit.

  1. Why am I writing all of these things? I’m just going to have to submit them somewhere or decide whether or not to publish them myself. I’ve got SO MANY THINGS. Should just quit. Take a holiday or something. But if I stop, even for a little while, I might, I don’t know, never start again. And then what? What if I never have another good idea because I stopped using the other ideas? What if I stop and the world keeps going, because we know that’s exactly what will happen and my special bubble will burst and I’ll have to accept I’m not the shit at writing. I’m just another cog in the wheel of publishing that is easily replaced when it breaks.


  1. I’m exhausted like 85% of the time. Maybe even 90%. Does anyone else roll their eyes when a new writer comes along with his “Ooh! Everything is so shiny and I’m so full of hopes and dreams. Can you help me get started?”


But seriously, new writers are great You’re wonderful. Just… stop being so… happy all the time. God.

  1. Rejection letters that begin with “We loved the writing and the characters are fantastic” or “your story made it to the final round,” and end with “But it’s just not what we’re looking for at this time.” You know what, editor person?


Just say no.

Don’t tell me how close I came. Don’t let me know that if I’d just chosen another genre, setting, whatever, I’d have sold that fucking piece of shit I sent to you. Just tell me no. “Sorry. It’s a no.” That’s all. Don’t open the door to ‘what might have been’ with your “you’re just awesome and we almost said yes” nonsense. I can’t take it.

Bonus thought: This industry is great, though. Really, it is. I mean, you get to meet new, fascinating people. You’re always learning, so it almost never gets boring. Sure, it’s hard on the pride. Makes you cry from time to time. It’s sent a few people across the border of Crazy Town. Maybe ended a few relationships. Blew up some families. But all-in-all, it’s pretty awesome.

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