Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net

Welcome to the Nuthouse

aving just signed contracts on my first novel sales in three years, having a fresh source of income to buttress the dwindling advances that have been coming in on the stuff that sold three years ago, and having an exciting semi-secret project that is finally both done and in the hands of editors, I'm invigorated, happy, and fresh for the writing battle once again.

But I do think I ought to mention this important point to those of you who are not yet subsisting on your writing alone: writing may be a wonderful hobby for everyone, but it's only a job for lunatics.

The work itself is both fun and interesting, at least when it's going well.  When it isn't, of course, it's a lot like popping out the RonCo Home Tooth Extractor and doing a bit of self-dentistry without anesthesia.  But the writing isn't the hard part.  The part that will drive you really nuts is what computer programmers refer to as the backend.  Can you write; should you write; if you do write, does your work stink; if your work is good enough, will your books ever sell; if a publisher buys them, will you be published badly; if you're published well, will anyone bother to read your books; will reviewers ever review your work; will the three reviewers who found you spend the rest of their careers trashing you; if your editor likes you and readers like you will computer ordering by the big chains kill your career anyway; how much will you get paid; how many months after the rent is due will the check arrive; exactly how right was your mother when she suggested you become the CEO of a multinational corporation ... or a roadcrew pothole filler?

Hi.  Welcome to the nuthouse.  Abandon sanity, all ye who enter here. 

Still with us?  Excellent -- we want to weed out the faint of heart, because writing for a living is about as hard on the nerves as being a professional blindfolded cliffdiver, and most of the time the pay is about the same.  But if you're one of us wackos, it is a lot of fun.

We're working on outlining and layout this time -- when, how, and why you outline, how to present your work, and a lot more.  Very popular author S.L. Viehl has the workshop, and as always, we have a broad spectrum of articles on our issue topic as well as lots of information on other aspects of writing.

So onward fellow lunatics, into the fray armed with some neat new techniques to try, and the realization that no matter how crazy you really are, you are not alone.

Write, believe, and never give up on your dreams,

 

Holly Lisle