Your route through the creative writing maze

If only there was a set of instructions on how to get through the labyrinth of creative process, getting a book agent, a publishing deal, published, critical acclaim and airport bestsellerdom… What’s that? You say there are loads of such guides out there?

Well… That’s not the point. I mean, I’m a man. I never read instructions – duh. I could maybe glance at a one page diagram. Preferably one using the image of a pickup truck to represent me.

Oh – lookee here. This could work.

Thanks to the Subnormality Sphinx up there, aka Winston Rowntree, aka Virus Comix, we can all benefit from this handy map. Hurrah – writing success is assured for all! All who can read teeny tiny writing. As for the rest of you… Is this any better?    (Still looks a bit squeezed – click on the picture for an even bigger version – and then come back and tell me if any parts of the route look familiar from your own experience.)

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Your route through the creative writing maze

  1. It took me 35 years to get some cartoons published. The talent out there is astonishing and for writing as well. It is good to enter contests(I do for poems). They publish an anthology and you pay $60 for your copy. It may be considered a scam but at least you build a resume of published things. Blog work may also be of interest to editor. I am sure they have short story stuff contests. Do you fish? Try fish mags. Airplane? Boats? Write about what you know about. . I have had a little success getting research essays to esoteric academic journals. Another way is to see if small local newspaper would print your stuff for free. Perhaps generate a following.

  2. Very funny! And yes, it looks terribly familiar. Definitely best to keep the sense of humor going as we muddle through that crazy maze. Thanks for the laugh.

  3. funny, i wish you and all of us tremendous luck!

  4. Lately, a couple of well-known authors have been doing TV ads for their books here in the States. What does that tell ya?

    Problem is, it doesn’t matter if we write the “great American novel” and it’s published by the best. We still have to “sell it” ourselves.

  5. No matter the enterprise, there is common experiential ground at the start and finish but in between, it’s an individual thing how you get there. I did not graduate from University 4 consecutive years or grow up liking caviar or earn much money in my time. But looking back over my time, it has been, well, MY time. My writing has been MY writing. It’s good to have peers and to discuss common difficulties but in the end, it’s just you and the keyboard, kid.

    And now the nasty business: If you never get published, can you still write and be happy doing it? To me this separates the men from the boys. If you love to write, paint or sculpt, you will do it regardless. Artist Robert Henri wrote “The Art Spirit.” I think that book is more to the point. I recommend it to artists of every persuasion.

  6. blackwatertown

    @Shelley – you’re right – when all else is gone, you may as well laugh. And then carry on.
    @ Sorrygnat – thanks
    @ Maxi – I think you’re right. After the hard work, comes the hard work.
    @ Samhenry – Good thoughts – and as for the nasty bit, it’s both depressing and uplifting, depending on how you look at it. I’ll take the uplifting road. Thanks for the book suggestion.

    • This week, a friend put me in touch with a fellow that produces a trade magazine(mostly ads) for a wide range of individuals in the medical field. This will include doctors, dentist, medical supplies, insurance companies and related providers in the field. This afternoon I will jpeg him a few doctor ones. He does need filler space on some pages. So you never know. I am pretty confident he will use my cartoons. Now I just have to come up with ideas beyond the several finished cartoons I have. I have been paid in just receiving two copies to $75 for cartoons so we’ll see. You just have to work all possible angles. I am waiting for a reply from a watch and clock publication for my clock cartoons . You just have to work every angle possible.

  7. Gawd. I co wrote a piece for my creative blog (sounds pretentious doesn’t it) and I’m dying to turn it into something more but just don’t know if I’ve got the talent or the perseverence to go through the maze. I know one thing, I’ll never self-publish unless it’s a cook book for the kids.

  8. hey, I understand the frustration, as I am in the process of being published.

    However i would say, that you are on the right step. Remember you have to sell your self (as you are doing with this blog)

    I found my current publishers, by always speaking about my book (before it was written) and I believed in it’s success completely.
    Never give up, no matter how crazy it may seem. Keep telling the world and someone (the right someone) will hear you.

    ‘The more people I speak to, the luckier I get’ Melody Demone

  9. My 1st post was July 31. A few days later I chanced up a blog re watches, clock collectors, antiques. The guy then checked me out and wanted to publish a clock cartoon. He is in Brisbane Australia. He now has two dozen on file which he will publish for their quarterly for next 3 years. So above advice from melody has merit. I got that offer after my blog was up only 10 days!

  10. Speaking as the author of a pretty amateurish webcomic, I can say that I’m intimately familiar with this particular map! Self-doubt, lethargy, and my easily-distracted nature all affect my productivity, and that’s just in the drawing/cobbling together stage. I haven’t devoted a great deal of effort to thoughts of being published or trying to generate any kind of income from the comic yet, it’s still just a hobby at this point. Obviously, I’d be happy for it to successful, financially or otherwise, but even if it isn’t I wouldn’t mind that much. I’d be quite happy if it remained an undiscovered gem, waiting for some bored browser to stumble upon and think, “You know, this ain’t half bad.”

    I’m not sure if that’s being realistic or pessimistic. I’ll go with the first option, since it’s slightly less depressing!

  11. Write from the heart whatever it is you write…and when the right time comes the right publisher will be there.

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