Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Since I don't have time for full blog posts this month, I thought I'd give you a series of brief thoughts to think. Pointy thoughts, to go with pointy shoes.

Pointy Thought One:

The world does not owe us a book contract: we have to work for it. We have to suffer and develop blisters on our brains and RSI in our wrists. It's not meant to be easy. Easy is for lazy people, and we cannot be lazy if we want to be successful. As Neitzsche said (or German words to this effect): the more painful and blistery the climb to the top, the more goddamn brilliant the view.

Ah, sorry - not such a good example.

Here's a better one:

Or this:

And you know something? I'll give you a subsidiary pointy thought for free. (Note to self: they're all free, you idiot. Ah, yes, I forgot.)

Subsidiary pointy thought: there's a lot more hard work and a lot less luck involved than some people would have you think.

So, if you want to be published, a) make sure you deserve it and b) be prepared to fight for it. Be prepared to sweat and shed tears. And yell HOORAY from the highest mountain when you reach the top by your own effort.


Iapetus999 said...

I think it was easier to climb Mt. Rainier than publish a book.
After all, that's just a two-day climb.

Waitasec...I never made it to the top of Rainier...I guess that doesn't bode well. :(

Nicola Morgan said...

Ah. A metaphorical mountain climb may be tougher than Mt Rainier, but your inability to reach the top of the real mountain was presumably down to either the weather conditions or your own legs not being strong enough - and you don't need either of those things to get a book published. So, not reaching the top of the real mountain won't affect your metaphorical climb. Hooray!

Ebony McKenna. said...

Another excellent post.
And now I've got that Miley Cyrus song, 'the climb' in my head.

janeyolen@aol.com said...

I always tell my writing students that being well prepared for luck means that you actually recognize it when it comes along.


SleepyJohn said...

When I was a keen dinghy sailor many considered that you needed luck to win in light, fluky winds. It was interesting how the good sailors, who tuned their boats carefully and practised hard, always seemed to get the luck!

Sarah said...

Well said! I loved the pictures.

Anonymous said...

My theory is that making a living requires any two of the following:


But I'm not sure where 'celebrity' fits.

behlerblog said...

I - I love you.

Nicola Morgan said...

Anonymous - "celebrity" fits in with "luck" ...

Lynn - just because you agree with me? God, you're easy. You wait till Point Thought 3 - I think you'll like it.

Catherine Hughes said...

Thanks for this post - it really helped to bolster my hope that hard work really does pay off and that mine eventually will!

I've written myself today about how it may be more important to work hard than to believe in yourself - hard work never falters but self-esteem and self-belief can fluctuate on a daily basis!

behlerblog said...

Pointy thought #1 brought a tear to me eye. Just last week, I had an author inform me that he deserved to be published because he'd worked five years on his manuscript. Um...riiiight.

I stand by my post. I love you. And yes, I hear that I am easy.

Nicola Morgan said...

Lynn, trust me - pointy thought 3 ( or 4) is the one that will make you cry

catdownunder said...

I think it was Richard Hughes who said, "Writing is a life sentence." The great big grey gaol by the sea with the icy winds and the damp blankets and the (mouldy) bread and water diet is what you get for even daring to think you can write and it comes with hard labour....you were wrong Mr Hughes, "Writing is a life sentence with hard labour". It's enough to make a cat want to.... write?

Rebecca said...

Thank you, Nicola. I will keep climbing. I can already imagine the view!

Deb Salisbury said...

I just linked to your blog from Pitch Parlour, and I'm happy to have found you. I'm learning everything I can about the business of publishing.

I love the photos. And I'm soooo envious of the view from your window on your website. I currently live in the flat part of Texas. I miss trees and stone walls and misty mornings.

Nicola Morgan said...

hello Deb - lovely to meet you. Yes, it's a fab view from my window, especially considering I live in the middle of a city. All of the gardens are enclosed by the backs of four streets of houses, so from the outside, no one knows the greenery is even there. And the wonderful thing is that most of what you can see is NOT MY GARDEN, which means i don't have to do anything to it.

Good luck with your writing.

Catherine and rebecca - good luck to you too!