Welcome to Cal's Cosmos

Allow me to roll out the red carpet and usher you into my world--the world of writing. I am a blessed man; a man blessed with the enjoyment of creating worlds on a lifeless sheet of paper or a blank computer screen.

You'll find many things at Cal's Cosmos: information about my long and passionate love affair with writing, my views on literature, my musical heritage and thoughts on current events.

Please, come back often to see what's happenin' on Cal's Cosmos.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thoughts on being a writer...

Sometimes I wonder if being a writer is worth it.

Don't get me wrong; I love writing, it's the other stuff that elevates my blood pressure. Thanks to changes in the publishing world, creating multi-layered characters...or an engaging story...or witty dialogue...or crafting meaty sentences isn't enough any more. No, a writer has to have an Internet presence and a fan base before a contract is offered.

Think about it, in days gone past, a writer could fill his day with what he loved: Writing. Now, the day starts with wading through emails, leaving a message on Facebook, so folks know you're still alive, checking hits on your website, blogging and tweeting or twittering or tacking a message onto the shimmering walls of the biosphere. I'm always behind with this. Why? Because I hate it. I'd rather be writing.

And while I'm venting, I'm going to take jabs at the publishing industry. A kind of "biting the hand that feeds you" rant. When I signed a contract in August, the projected date of release written on the contract was November 9th. Right. Of course there were those three little words after the date: publishing schedule permitting. Evidently the schedule hasn't been very "permitting" lately.

I received my proofs two weeks ago. A proof is like a sample book that the author must read, hunting for every error. Now, let me preface this with the fact that my agent, who once ran an editing business, had already proofed my manuscript. So had the editor at the publisher. All errors--punctuation, word choice, formatting, etc. were corrected through these two layers of editing (my agent's and editor's). So one would think the proof would be nearly error free. WRONG! Some chapter headings were centered on the page and some were left justified. Many paragraphs were not indented. Much of the punctuation, especially quotes within a quote, was wrong. Words were transposed. The word cafe needs an accent mark over the e, and although I made certain that accent mark was there, now over a dozen times, it is missing. Evidently the printer has no concept of quality. For a writer who agonizes over every word and comma he puts into his manuscript, this is especially frustrating, annoying--and, yes, disheartening. I don't exaggerate when I say out of a 312 page book, 25 pages were error free.

After I mail the proof back to the publisher, I go into the waiting mode once more as these corrections are made (hopefully) and another proof is generated (publishing schedule permitting). Then a second proof will be mailed to me, and I'll get to read my novel again, hunting for more errors. Want to make book on how many I'll find next time?

There are some days when I wonder if being a writer is worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Please keep writing! I love the way you put your words on the page. You are the smooth operator of words!