{Between the Lines}

The Agents of Books & Such Literary Management Muse About Books, Publishing, and Life

One Thing Every Writer Needs

Janet Grant

Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant

Seldom can we boil down our needs to one thing, but in the case of a writer, I’ve been thinking that without this one thing, a writer is nothing.

Every writer needs belief.

I was reminded of this imperative the other day when one of my clients, on hearing that a publisher had serious interest in his manuscript, replied, “They like my writing!?”

I, as the agent, was lost in the euphoria of a sale, of a published book, of moving a career forward, but the writer heard affirmation, belief in his writing.

For a writer, belief resides in:

  1. Oneself. Without the nudging sense that you are able to be coherent and maybe even articulate on paper, you wouldn’t even try to write a book. The germ of an idea isn’t enough to urge you on; kayakingit’s belief–regardless how tiny–that causes you to put your fingers to the keys.
  2. Others. Where would a writer be without a spouse, a parent, a teacher, an editor or an agent who said, “I do believe you can write that book”? Well, the answer is, you’d be without a book. That belief often is not only spoken but also acted on. While you’re writing, others try to lighten your load and do without your presence. Through making meals, doing laundry, taking care of the kids, ignoring your 3 a.m. alarm that gets you up to write before beginning a full day of other work, those who believe in you endure you while you write. And listen to your ideas burbling over, read your manuscript, brainstorm titles with you, dream about the day the book is published. What, or what, would you do without others’ belief that you can pull off this massive pouring out of yourself?
  3. Your calling. You know that writing is an expensive task: It requires all of your heart, soul and mind. And it’s not to be undertaken by the faint of heart or the easily discouraged. The ones who thrive best under the heat lamp of the publishing industry are those who believe they are called to write, that they must write, that life would be so much less if they stopped writing.

Yes, belief is the one thing a writer needs. This post is a tribute to each of you who have found belief, the most powerful impetus you could ask for to go forth and create.

Who first believed in you as a writer? What other sources of belief spur you on?


What’s the one thing every writer needs? Click to tweet.

Why belief is the one thing every writer needs. Click to tweet.

Snowed Under

Wendy Lawton

Blogger: Wendy Lawton

Many of you got a good dose of snow over the weekend. I’m not going to talk about being snowed in but about that horrible feeling of being snowed under.

I decided to use these first few …

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