Saturday, August 10, 2013

I want to be good, not published

Okay, I DO want to be published. Let's get that clear. But I want to be published well.

I've seen several new writers publish bad work and get excited about it. I admit, there is a definite thrill to seeing one's name in print, but in the long run it's going to hurt you to have crappy stuff out there on the Interwebz or even - gawd help us - printed on actual paper.

It reminds me of the guy who had a sandwich delivery business to our office last summer. He called himself The Deli Man and came to the second floor every day with a cart containing sandwiches and salads. The sandwiches were bland and soggy and the salads were composed of barely torn up pieces of romaine and huge chunks of veggies that were impossible to eat without cutting them up further. He expressed interest in feedback and I politely gave it to him, but did he change the way he did anything? No. That's just the way he does it, he said.

In addition, the variety of offerings never changed. Even those of my colleagues (including myself) who were willing to put up with sub-par fare in exchange for the convenience of delivery, got tired of eating the same thing every day. So his patronage dwindled. He got snippy, took his food and went home. No one noticed.

The same is true of any other product. If you want people's respect and continued interest, you have to give them something worth consuming.

So that's why I'm taking my time with my novel and future stories. I don't just want to be published. I want to be good.