Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Letter from A Neglected Writer


The letter I’m sharing today is constructed from a composite of people I’ve known.

To Whom It May Concern

I’m very grateful to Mr. Zoltai for letting me share my situation in his blog.

I’m hoping some of his readers will share their knowledge and experience in the comments.

I’ll begin with a statement that takes a degree of courage to reveal—I want to be a writer.

I can, obviously, write words and sentences—perhaps even a decent paragraph or two.

But, I want to be a writer of stories and books.

A couple of my friends say I tell good stories.

They look like I’m affecting them when I share tales from my grandfather or things my mother’s done—things I feel many people would appreciate or even learn from.

I don’t want to write just biographical pieces, though.

I would hope I could use my imagination and stretch the adventures my grandfather incited, imaginatively expand on my mothers unusual experiences—create other characters, based somewhat on other members of my family and some created from whole cloth…

I feel I have a few plot situations that would bring these characters to life on the page.

I’ve begun some experiments lately where I imagine some challenge, like dealing with a power outage, and try writing out what some of these potential characters might do (I usually have to invent a few more characters to finish the scene).

So, I guess I can write and I know enough to know that I’d need to find an editor to make sure things are done in a way most people could relate to them.

My problem comes when I think about publishing and promoting books.

Yes, I need to take the time to write and rewrite enough till the story is alive then let the editor, hopefully, help make it better (yes, I do have the fear an editor would savagely attack my writing…).

But, even if I took the years it seems necessary to perhaps have a traditional publisher create my books, I know enough to feel the dread of somehow promoting the books, since even folks like Harper Collins or Penguin make authors do social media and such…

So, what am I hoping the readers of this blog can do for me?

First, share their experiences, not only with publishing and promotion, but also with how they get raw plot ideas to work with characters and how they get characters to create their own plots…

I admit I’m basically introverted—it took me three days to finish this letter—but I’ve heard many (most?) writers are very internal creatures.

I just begin to quiver inside when I imagine working with an editor.

And, I almost want to cry when I imagine the strain from working hard at socializing on the internet.

I have 1500 pages of material that might be able to be sculpted into a story, if a rough sculpture can then have additional stone applied to smooth out its arcs and curves…

You might ask why I don’t just use the Internet to learn what I should do.

I’ve tried but become confused and disheartened by the conflicting hype.

Perhaps you, the reader of this blog, could share your experience with me?

Perhaps you could address some of my fears?

Perhaps you could throw some light on the process of the writer after they feel brave enough to contact an editor?

More—perhaps you could guide me to those on the Internet who aren’t slaves to the Internet?

~~~ N.W.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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7 responses to “Letter from A Neglected Writer

  1. Richard Berry September 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I don’t remember actually finishing this letter, how did you get it?

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai September 23, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Perhaps you sent it unfinished because your writing is in a similar state and you forgot you’d sent it because you too often forget to pay attention to the writer-within?

      Like this

  2. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen September 24, 2013 at 1:57 am

    There is the essence of writers’ experience in this letter.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai September 24, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Thank you for saying that, Martina—that’s what I strove for

      Do you think I also captured the essence of a “neglected” writer?

      Like this

      • Martina Sevecke-Pohlen September 25, 2013 at 2:44 am

        When I started writing my answer I wanted to say that “negleted” wasn’t the right word. But in writing I found that neglect can come from people who care about us, but only care about one aspect of our personality. A writer can feel neglected by exactly those people who show warm interest but are not able to understand the insecurity and the strong need for expression.

        Like this

        • Alexander M Zoltai September 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

          Thank you, so much, Martina, for your deeper response

          Like this

  3. Pingback: The Very Best Way To Learn To Be A Writer? | Notes from An Alien

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