Simon Wood

SHELF LIFE: Taking Nothing For Granted

Recently, I received one of the best reviews I’ve ever gotten. Someone called ColtsFan on Amazon wrote the following about The Fall Guy:

“Simon Wood is an up and coming mystery writer who writes like some mobster is standing over him with a cleaver, telling him to make a good story or else. He writes like his life depends on it.”

What made me very happy about the review is ColtsFan was 100% correct. I do write like my life depends on it. There is someone standing over me with a cleaver telling me to write good or else—and it’s me.

The reason for this outlook is because nothing is guaranteed in publishing. Several of my writing friends with books behind them now possess a certain expectation that everything they write will be published. I wish I shared their confidence. Despite numerous publishing credits, Magazines still reject my short stories and publishers have passed on manuscripts. Publishers and magazines have folded. Editors have changed their minds. There have been months with an R in them. The list of reasons/calamities is endless, but the result is the same—manuscripts I’ve been very passionate about have not made it to the bookshelf.

Currently, I’m very lucky to find myself in the fortunate position of having contracts with books still on them. However, that could all come to end when I turn those manuscripts in. Then what? Sure, I’ll do my best to find a new publisher or a magazine interested in my stories, but it still doesn’t mean they’ll get published. That means I can’t just write a good manuscript. I have to write the very best manuscript I possibly can and not just once, but every time, again and again. Those works still might not see publication, but I’ve given them best shot I can possibly give them.

Telling stories is my passion and my job. So yeah, I write like my life depends on it, because it does. Shouldn’t every writer think this way? 🙂

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