Statistics – What might we do with them?

The Willamette Writers Conference earlier this month provided so much information that I’m sorting through pages of notes and handouts to remember the best ideas. One bit of information I received could be interpreted as intimidating and downright negative if any one of us decides to internalise it as a discouraging threat: “1 in 10 submitted projects are accepted for promotion by agents. Nine hundred ninety of every 1000 projects an agent pitches to publishers is rejected.” If that information from Larry Brooks carries a slap across the side of one’s head, a writer might throw up his or her hands and quit.

The reaction each of us has to such a dismal statistic forces us to focus on why he/she writes. Most of us do so because we have to and will continue regardless of stats. If money and fame are the goals, the decision to discontinue a project might save time. But if it isn’t, why do we forge ahead? We all have our reasons; maybe its a challenge, perhaps this book of ours must be completed, or we move forward without giving the odds another thought. Best selling books have been rejected numerous times, e.g.. Hunger Games, Gone with the Wind, The Twilight series, and others. One foot in front of the other, or better said, one word after another. Perhaps that will be our story, too.

Stay positive. Go forth and write!

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