Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cart Before The Horse

Yesterday I was approached by a young lady, when she boarded my bus (you all know I drive transit for NIU, right?), and she's more amialble than most of the students I get on. She noticed I was reading and asked what it was. I showed it to her. "Oh, I love to read too." Then, she said "aren't you a published author?"

"Yes," I said. And told her my publisher was very small. I asked her what she'd written. Usually a person has written something before seeking publication.

"Oh, I haven't written it yet." Then she followed this up with, "I want to make it into a movie."

Ooooh-kay. This is like an ant saying they wanted to build the Taj Mahal. Right?

I told her she would need an agent to even begin that process (good luck on that).

I asked what sort of story it was.


The more I spoke with her the more I got that this might be a memoirs, and didn't want to get into that discussion with her. My best advice to her was, since she was a student, to seek help in the English department. Since I had to drive a bus, giving her any direction or advice was not going to be achieved while I had to concentrate on driving.

I don't know if if she will persue it, but if she actually does go to the English department, and begins to either take any classes in creative writing, or what have you, she might find she has a lot of learning to do on going about either getting a publisher or and agent or even self-publishing. You can't have that sort of conversation in a ten minute span while driving a bus.

When I thought about her lofty goals, and that she hadn't even put pen to paper (or however she writes it), I kept thinking how, if she's never written anything in her life, she might give up or never even start. I did tell her it was work. I told her the finishe project had to be edited, no matter how you published (and the fact that she didn't have the greatest grasp on the English--and I don't mean she was foreign--that would be an up-hill battle all it's own. The part where she thought it should be made into a movie made me laugh inwardly. Not meanly, oh, no. I'm sure that I'm not the only author who feels their books would make a wonderful movie. Am I right? And why not? But who knows. Stranger things have happened.

Speaking to this person who hadn't even begun writing made me think of my long 30+ years of writing and working at my craft and all the trials, slings and arrows I've suffered and thought "Good luck, my dear. You're gonna need it."


  1. When I first began writing I was very naive about the whole publishing business. I thought as a writer all I had to do was come up with a brilliant story, and then everything else would take care of itself. Boy was I wrong! Writing a brilliant, entertaining story is unfortunately only skimming the surface. It's been a long hard road.

  2. It's a lot of work. A lot of time to invest in it, and you have to develop a thick skin about it.

    Not sure if she's being realistic about it... something she'll have to learn for herself.

  3. That's the understatement of the day. I remember my teen rejection letters and most of these folks weren't even born yet!

  4. ~There is a learning curve to it. And it's huge! Thank you for stopping by, Vashti!

    ~William you're so right! I just couldn't break her heart like my English teacher did when I told her in my senior year of high school I wanted to be a published author and she told me my grammar and spelling was so bad that I should pick another vocation!

    ~Oh, don't you know it, Eve! Thanks for commenting!

  5. I think we're all a bit naive when we begin...or even way before we begin.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  6. We can't help but be. We think: I'll write a book and become famous, rich, they'll want to make it into a movie. This is what dreams are made of. What we do is reality and it's work. Lots of work both learning how to become a good writer, and how to promote.
    Chocolate hugs, girl!

  7. ...that poor soul has a lot to learn ;) I wish her the best, as she enters into that maelstrom we like to call, the publishing business ;)


  8. Hey, El, yes. Really!
    My thought is it was an idea she thought would make her money, and once she actually acts on it--if she does--and goes to actually "write" it, she won't find it as easy as she thought it was. This is not something you just wake up one day and think "I'd like to write a book and get it made into a movie" one day. If it were, we'd all be rich. Right? LOL!!


Hey, did I get you thinking? Want to add a comment? Be my guest and be nice about it. Since I've seen too many "anonymous" users I've taken this option off. Sorry, but you are only interested in selling me something. But my regulars are always welcome!