Writers and Their Rejections

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Most of the writers I’ve known over the decades had one goal in mind – publication. They reached for the gold standard of traditional publishing. Most of them never got there. It usually had little to do with their talent.

Many of these writers deserved better. They should have been published. Their work was excellent, polished and moving. But, somewhere along the line, they gave up. They reached an impenetrable bulwark that sidetracked their work and talent. It was the wall of rejection and, for some very talented writers, it was too much to overcome.

Rejection is a tough issue for anyone. In the world of writing, it’s inevitable. For those writers who set the gold standard of publication for themselves, it sometimes became the breaking point. Understandable, right?. However, for those writers who eventually made it through the desert of rejection, there was a potent reward waiting.

The question is one of perspective, self-confidence and experience. It all boils down to how you value rejection. Here’s one way to look at the issue.

Agent rejection. Agents live on the work and talent of writers. That’s the nature of their business. Good agents are looking for long-term relationships with their writers. There’s a reason for this. Once that first book has been published, the chances of future publishing opportunities increase exponentially. Beyond that, getting published opens up doors of opportunity in related areas. Good agents understand this kind of critical mass. It’s why the best of them thrive on long-term relationships.

The bad news is that top notch agents are rare. Most are only interested in signing a writer whose work can be quickly published. For these agents, it’s a numbers game. So, you’re just a number if you sign up.

Now, ask yourself this: Do you really care about being rejected by an agent who doesn’t care about you? The answer should be obvious. Their rejection is, after all, just the opinion of an individual who has no vested interest in your writing career. That kind of rejection is a blessing.

Take a look at Online Publishing and E-Hyphens and E-Agents for a bit more.

Disney Rejection Letter, 1938 (detail)

Publisher rejection. Rejection by other than a recognized publishing house is just as meaningless as rejection by the disinterested agent. Online publishers are everywhere. If the house is not established, not recognized by readers and writers, their rejection means nothing. It’s just another opinion from yet another person who has little or no interest in your writing career.

Even rejection from a major publishing house means little. There are countless examples of publishers rejecting famous authors. The publishing industry is littered with this wreckage and misdirection. If you spend some time reading about the careers of famous authors you’ll quickly see the kinds of monumental mistakes often made by major publishing houses. These stories are legendary and common.

Rejection by critics. OK, you’re published. Here come the critics, frothing and foaming at the mouth. Maybe you get panned. Is that rejection? Of course not. It’s nothing more than an opinion, typically written to please the critic’s readers. It’s wise to remember that critics are not writers. Many are frustrated, unsuccessful writers. They are hawking opinions designed to please their own readers. That’s their job. They are nothing more than opinion sellers, and you know the old warning about opinions, right?

To see the critic review game at its most ugly, take a peek at Paid Reviews Rock Your Pocket.

Rejection by readers. Yep, this is the one that really matters, if publication is your primary goal. It must be measured in only one way – book sales. The “review comments” below each book title mean little. They may make you feel good, angry, frustrated, whatever. But, in the final analysis, these comments are frosting, bitter or sweet. What counts is whether or not your book is selling. At the end of the day, it’s the reader that counts, and his or her opinion is expressed in terms of books sold.

There is only one exception to the rejection game – you. Yep, you count. Your opinions matter. The reason you write is important. Your goals are important. If you’re a writer, there’s a good reason, and it’s always personal, always important.

Forget rejection. Don’t obsess about opinions. Devalue the importance of acceptance. Find out why you write, what it means to you, where it fits in the symphony of your life. Rejection will always be at your doorstep. Just step over it and move ahead. It’s not always the best writer who reaches the finish line. It’s often the most tenacious.

Finally, here are a few articles that may be helpful. Keep in mind that publishers, agents and critics would have no purpose without writers.

The Undiscovered Writer

The Established Writer

Writer vs Author

The Unselfish Writer

Selfishness

A while back, I came across a comment that posed the question of selfishness as it applies to writing and writers. It was a bit of a two-parter that morphed around the subject. The first part of the question asked whether or not an unselfish writer should give away his or her work for free. The second part wanted an answer to the bigger question of “what is a selfish reason to write?”

I think there was more to these questions than met the eye when I first read them. The comments were posed as a challenge more than an observation. Still, they were interesting enough. How does selfishness and writing come together? How does selfishness, or lack of it, play into chasing word art?

A few readers may need to don the crash helmet for what follows. It’s purely an opinion piece, so don’t get too worked up over it. Geezer-writers get to stretch their mouth muscles from time to time.

The first part of the question, whether or not a writer should be paid, is pretty simplistic and obvious. I’ve written a number of posts about this topic. Since I’ve been writing all my life, I also have pretty strong feelings about it. If you’re a worthy writer, you should be paid for your work, period. The only exception is when you choose to offer your work for free, for some personal reason that makes sense to you. There’s an entire section on this blog, along with several individual articles, that speak to the need for writers to be compensated for their work. It’s a no-brainer.

But getting paid for your words is a tough business. Few writers ever achieve that goal. As I’ve mentioned many times, some of the best writers I’ve known never made it in a financial sense. They were great word artists but they never had the chance to make their work pay. This is one of the reasons that I’m such a strong proponent of self-publishing, to level the playing field for writers who would otherwise sit it out on the sidelines for reasons that have nothing to do with their talent.

Pay as You Exit

Should you be paid for your work? You bet, so long as your work is worth the money. In the end, your readers should be allowed to make that decision, not publishers or alleged “publishing companies” that populate the Internet. It’s all between you and the reader. The only way to know if you can make writing work for you is to get your words out there and hear what readers have to say about it. Readers vote with their money, which is just the way it should be. Publishers have lost their importance through their own greed and immoderate behavior. Get your words out there, and do it on your own terms.

The second part of the question is a little strange. I’ve never been asked the question in the past but it’s worth a thought. What is a selfish reason to write?

I don’t find much selfishness among my fellow writers. However, they mostly write books, novels or nonfiction. A few of my writer-friends are journalists. I do see a good deal of selfishness among bloggers, though. I find lots of attention-seeking behavior out there.

Now, to some extent, attention-seeking behavior is inherent in anyone who writes seriously or as a career. We want to be noticed, one way or another. We may write for ourselves, at first, but we publish to be read. At some level, that’s attention-seeking. I doubt that any seasoned writer would argue against this relationship.

attention seeking

But it goes beyond that acceptable level with so many blogs. There are endless posts directed at only one purpose – driving readers to the blog. There are so many words that have this sole purpose that it’s a day’s work to just get through them to the true nuggets of good writing. This kind of behavior is so obvious and transparent that virtually all readers recognize it when they see it. It operates at a level of commercials on TV, except that every so often you run across a really funny, entertaining TV commercial. Not so often with most blogs.

This kind of writing is selfish. It is not intended to convey valuable information, entertain, enlighten, share or contribute to others. It is designed to point back at the writer and do nothing more. It’s a way of putting notches on a virtual blog-belt that says, “Hey, look at me! I now have 34,534 followers!” Well, if you’re into quantity as a writing goal, it surely serves some purpose. It just doesn’t work for me.

If the blog is commercial in nature, I get the point. However, if it’s intended to be a personal blog, and the whole point is to drive readers to the blog, it shows up in the posts and in the writing style. This kind of writer is not trying to share. He or she is trying to collect. In my view, that’s selfish.

So, are writers selfish? The good ones, those who work it out as a living, the journalists, the worthy novelists, and even the occasional strong blog writer are not selfish. They are sharing something of who they are, what they think, how they are feeling, what they’ve learned along the way. They are not selfish. They are writers, even if they remain undiscovered for a lifetime.

Asking if writers are selfish is like asking if a writer is any good at what he or she does with their art. The best writers move well beyond their selfishness and find reasons to create words that are genuine and tangible, meaningful in some way to their readers. Those who cannot get to this point simply don’t make it in the business. There’s too much competition from good, genuine writers for the purely selfish to survive the cut.

Writer-selfishness has nothing to do with money, with getting that advance and royalty check. It has everything to do with sharing that part of yourself that may touch your readers.

Anything else is selfish.

You Want to be a Writer? What!

cow in mouth (who's crazy ?)

You want to be a writer, eh? Better think about it for a while. Consider all the reasons why a writer’s life is, uh, very strange.

You want to be normal. If that’s your goal, stick to your day job. Writers are nuts. You have to be a tilty-boogle to pursue this course in your life. All the writers I’ve known over the years, and they are legend, are a bit wacko. Some more than others. I know. I’m a wacko writer. So, if you’re after the American dream of normalcy, try something else. This is not the life for you.

You want financial security. It’s the wholesomeness of a regular paycheck, the backbone of social progress, the lynchpin of stress-free living. Forget about it. If you want to write for a living, dump the idea of security. It just won’t happen. Sure, you may do well. You may also starve. Either way, you better lose the idea of ever achieving a “fixed income.”

You enjoy the quiet times. If you’re a writer, things are never quiet. Your head is constantly thrashing around, usually on the fine edge of implosion, always noisy. Sure, it may be peaceful in the sanctity of your writing space but it’s always chaotic in your head. Have you ever tried to get away from your head? Hard to do.

You don’t want to be weird. You can’t be serious about being a writer unless you’re seriously weird. Writers just don’t think like normal people.

You like regular hours. Yikes! A writer’s schedule is like drinking colon-blow with your coffee. Maybe you’re one of those lucky writers who can stick to a predictable writing schedule. I’ve heard about these folks, and I envy them. It’s just never worked for me. Day becomes night, morning follows evening, the calendar is all funny-looking, watches are never set correctly. Only deadlines matter.

English: Crazy stuff

You like to control stuff. Oops, that’s it. Game over for you. Writers control nothing, not even their own characters. Actually, the characters take over and usually lead the writer around on a leash. You can’t control your time, your income, editors, publishers, publicists, readers, media, any other bump or any living entity in the entire golly-bang universe. If you have control, you’re not a writer.

You value your ego. It doesn’t matter what you write, someone is going to be upset. Maybe most of your readers are happy and enthusiastic. Still, there are always a few out there who will launch doo-doo all over your head. Nature of the beast. If you want to write for a living, give your ego a regular dose of sleep aids and keep your head down. Better yet, forget the prophets of doom and gloom, the critics, and the forever malcontents. They’re just along for the ride. There’s no point in trying to impress others since you’ll never be able to pull it off.

You want to be understood by others. Nope, not going to happen. Try some other profession. No one understands the career writer, including the writer himself.

You like to dress well. Maybe a few writers can pull this off, but I don’t know any of them. Writer’s don’t do well with fashion. I have no idea why this happens.

You like parties and social events. These are the worst for most writers I know. Chatter, chatter, inane dialogue, noise, boring and repetitive yaddle, whatever. Give me some quiet!

You like to work with others. Writing is mostly a solo business. I mean, who wants to get inside your writing head and crawl around? People can be very distracting. They can be fun when you’re creating characters or doing research. After that, they need to go away and let you get down to work, by yourself.

You are secure, well-balanced, well integrated into society. So, by definition, you’re not a writer. See the “normal” argument above.

Still want to be a writer?

Writers Workshop: The Nonfiction Proposal

New Paperback Non-Fiction - Really?! 07/366/20...

There are lots of different ways to construct a nonfiction proposal. It’s easy to search the Internet and come up with some very good advice (and examples) about this subject. Anyone who writes and publishes nonfiction certainly understands that the proposal is the key to generating interest in your writing project. It’s critical to the entire process.

In the nonfiction world of publishing, it isn’t always necessary to have your project completely written before you step into the proposal end of the business. This is especially true if you’ve already established yourself in an appropriate genre. However, even if this is your fist foray into nonfiction, the proposal may be enough to get that critical attention and, hopefully, a writing contract.

Over the years, I’ve found a simple technique that works for me. Agents and publishers seem to like it, and it manages to get their attention as effectively as any other method. There is nothing special or secret about the way I construct a proposal. It’s just an amalgamation of the knowledge of others and a lot of experimentation with what works and what does not.

My technique is based upon two concepts: simplicity and compactness. I understand that agents, publishers, editors and their kin will not spend much time studying any proposal. Rather, they will give it a moment’s attention and either pass it over or delve a bit further. So, your proposal must be tight and manageable yet provide enough information and appeal to demand a deeper look.

My nonfiction proposals look like this:

A few sentences of introduction (or overview). This must be brief and need only state the nature of your proposal and a few words about yourself. The key is brevity. I never let this go beyond 5 or so sentences. This is certainly not the place to gush, sell, or bore your reader.

A list of chapter titles. Now, this is just a list and nothing more. In nonfiction, the chapter titles had better convey what is to follow or you’re lost. If, for some reason, you use less informative (perhaps more “leading” titles), you can follow each chapter title with one descriptive sentence. It’s important to keep this to a single, tight, interesting sentence. It should immediately follow the chapter title and clearly be associated with it.

The complete Introduction. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I don’t believe in long Introductions. You can see some examples on this blog. I think it’s important to be very careful when writing your Introduction. It should really shine and strongly carry your reader onward. I usually put this in front of the chapter list, but not always. I’m not sure which is the best method and I’ve changed-up on this part over the years. In fact, it may not even matter.

That’s it. I know it seems short and, perhaps, simplistic. However, it’s worked well for me over the years. It gives the reader a less overwhelming feeling, which often happens with proposals. It also provides enough information to both point clearly at your topic (chapter titles) and display your writing talent (Introduction).

If you’ve found a nice way of creating nonfiction proposals, won’t you share it?

When Great Writers Vanish

GeezerBeing a geezer writer has its advantages. Decades in the business makes for a slice of clarity, a broader understanding of why some writers make it while others fail, or just choose to disappear. It’s usually a strange and toxic mixture of life ingredients.

It often doesn’t have anything to do with talent.

Some of the best writers I’ve known simply walked away from the trade. These were gifted people whose work I admired and thought was outstanding. But they gave it all up. They just vanished from the scene.

It’s not easy to wrap your head around this problem. Still, there are some common themes, scant threads that seem to surface with these individuals. Even though they disappeared as writers, a few of them stayed in touch, a few gave explanations. There are lessons.

Feedback fail. Many of the writers I’ve known needed a good deal of feedback. When you write for a living, especially at the start of your career, that just doesn’t happen. You are working in a vacuum, for the most part. Sure, you may get some feedback from friends or a trusted draft-reader, but many writers are looking for much more. They want reader feedback, the kind of notice given by those unknown but appreciated readers. Beginning writers can’t get that feedback, and some of them wither under the wish. They walk away before they’ve given themselves a chance. If you can’t stand lonliness, writing is the wrong path for you.

Life interferes. This is a rough one. It’s something that all beginning writers need to face. It takes a long time, if ever, for your writing to pay off. Throughout that stretch, life moves on. How can a writer balance it all? It’s not easy for anyone but it’s particularly gruesome for someone not yet established. You need the tenacity and drive to make your writing work itself into your life, to weave its place around the necessities of living. Sometimes, life just takes over and there’s nothing you can do about it. During those times, writing takes a second seat. It’s hard but you’ve got to tough it out. Reach deep and pull out the draft, even if it’s just to add a word or two, just to read a few lines. When the flame flickers low, don’t let it blow out. Patience helps, always.

Rejection

Rejection. Too many talented writers die on the words of rejection letters. It’s an understandable reaction. You work your butt off for nothing but the love of the word. You spend years perfecting your trade. Then, some editor blows you off with a tight rejection. Others follow. Suddenly, you’re drained. Too many rejections, too little reward. Wrong feedback. We’ve all been there. But rejections are nothing more than opinions. Editors and publishing houses have a long tradition of making stupendous blunders about writing talent. Opinions are free and common, and often offered by individuals who have never spent the time or effort to perfect their own art. Ignore them and move on. Mourn if you must, but only for a moment. It’s easy to say and hard to do. I understand that. But what choice do you have, if you truly want to be a writer?

Luck. This sounds silly but it’s a factor that’s brought many good writers to their knees. It really applies to traditionally-published work. In the world of publishing, there are limits to production. Publishers set an early and tight schedule for themselves. In other words, there are always more writers than there are slots in the publishing schedule. So, luck sometimes wins out, especially if a number of talented writers are working the same small market. There’s not much you can do about this. It’s best to remember that luck smiles without a winked eye, when it smiles. Your turn will come. The trick is to just accept this randomness and work around it. The best answer to luck is to improve your writing skill.

Timing. Hot genres come and go. If you’re writing for the short term, you need to get into the hot genre and get there quickly. It’s a mad rush toward a narrow doorway, though. Expect a lot of bumping and bruising. Personally, I don’t like this approach. It’s too chaotic, too nuts and too stressful. Why not consider looking ahead, working toward a genre that has more legs? Let the others rush. Take your time and make your work all it can be.

It’s not for you. Great writers don’t always want to be writers. I suppose that sounds strange to those who write for a living. I’ve met a few individuals who fit this category. They were brilliant writers, really good. But that wasn’t their life-ride. They enjoyed writing but also wanted to taste other life pleasures. They tried it, did a good job, and walked away. I have a lot of respect for these people. It’s not something I could do, just walk away from an obvious talent. They could. They had a bigger vision in life. Good for them.

Pain

The pain is too great. I get it. There is nothing simple or easy in a writer’s life. The rewards can be outstanding, no doubt about it. However, the journey is anything but comfortable. In fact, I think you need to be a little nuts to make it your life’s work. Writing can be miserable but also exhilarating. It’s like any other creative process. The ups and downs are extreme. The potential for a reasonable reward is small. The work is downright tough. It’s enough to drive anyone to find another way through life. It’s just too much for some people and they walk away, regardless of their talent. Only the word addict remains.

Art grows. I’ve know a few writers who have moved on to another art form. These people are truly interesting. It seems they can conquer very different arts, each with aplomb. I have no idea how they pull this off. I’m in awe of these people, probably because I have only a single art. I love these artists, the ones who walk away from writing and straight into another art form they easily conquer. Wow! If that’s the reason you walk away from the word, you’ve made a great decision. You are more than a writer, you are an artist. You are my hero.

I suppose there are all kinds of other reasons why these word masters walked away from it all. Back in the early years, I wanted to walk away. I just couldn’t do it. Like many of my writer friends, I had a major word addiction.

I still do, even though I’m old enough to know better.

Gregor Spanks Writers Groups

Gregor

Gregor went to a writers group, once or twice. It was a long time ago. He caught a brain fever that took forever to cure. Since then, Gregor has abandoned much hope for writers groups. Although he believes there must be a good group out there somewhere, he advises others to be wary.

Gregor has a bad attitude about most writers groups. He feels it’s only fair to warn you before he starts the dump that follows.

Gregor likes the idea of group-think, group goals, people helping each other. However, when it comes to writers groups, he believes there are too many shady characters running about. Some of these miscreants need a second look.

The English Specialist. Gregor finds this one everywhere. It’s the person who knows everything there is to know about the English language. This one understands construction, syntax, and the 4,243 most important rules of using the written word. In other words, writing is a science and that’s that. Gregor believes this is the wrong cocktail for any writer. He notes that the very best writers usually broke the most honored rules. Sometimes they just made up their own rules. In other words, they were creative. Gregor also realizes that the English Specialist is not a writer, will never be a writer, and cannot qualify as a writer. So, there!

The I3. As in “I-cubed”. This one only wants to talk about his or her own stuff, their beautiful words, their flowing masterpiece, their immense impact on the literary universe. It’s all about the I3. They come to the group for strokes and nothing more. Everyone in the group knows this. Well, everyone but the I3. Boring and selfish, Gregor says. The group is not opposed to a few ego strokes but they don’t want to leave it all on a single doorstep. Would you? There must be room for everyone in the group.

I Have Arrived. Carries too much stuff in their arms. Books about this, papers about that, pamphlets about something else. The theory seems to be that the more stuff you carry around, the bigger the arrival statement. Pushes papers, thumbs through books, references minutiae. What’s this all about? There’s nothing in that stack of doo-doo that can be of much meaning to anyone else. What’s the point? Gregor thinks groups should come together to communicate and support each other, not read labels on tuna cans. A notebook should be enough. Bring your brain, leave your ego, listen more than you speak.

My Greatest Work. They’re not interested in what you write, only in what they’ve written. They want to submit themselves to the group but only if the group is willing to first submit to them. Gregor knows there are always better writers out there. He wants to learn how to get better at his trade, not understand how wonderful is the person across the table. Much like the I3 but uses some alleged publication to make the point. Urg.

The Eternal Critic. Everything is doodle. It doesn’t matter what, where, who or why. It’s doodle and the Eternal Critic knows it. If it wasn’t for the ability to criticize, this person would be entirely mute. That would be refreshing.

Swamp Gas?

My Writing is Swamp Gas. Maybe so, maybe not. No reason to assume it’s doo-doo. Also, no reason to assume that anyone else in the group can do any better. Gregor wants this person to keep writing, keep trying and don’t give up. He worries that this potentially great writer will be crushed by too many ego miscreants. Gregor also wants to remind this writer that no one else in the group is the hot tuna of the month. They are all learners, even if they won’t admit it. It’s OK to fail. Happens all the time, to all writers.

I Know Someone. OK, so you once met a real, traditionally-published author with a following. So what? Gregor has met them, too. Gregor knows that most genuine, working writers are not egomaniacs. So, why are you?

The Giver. Gregor’s favorite. The rare person who is there to give and learn, to share and support, to help others and gather some help along the way. It’s rare, but these folks are out there. They even go to writers groups, sometimes. Gregor suggests you look for them at the first meeting. No Giver? Find another group.

Gregor admits to having a bad attitude about writers groups. It all comes down to one thing – stifling creativity. Unless the group is completely focused on supporting creativity for each member, what’s the point? Gregor does not approve of turning writing into an exercise about rule-learning. He does not want to submit to the ego-drives of selfish members. He wants the group to be truly supportive, genuine in its work to help the creative process in an unselfish way. He doesn’t want to drink anyone’s cocktail, including his own.

Is Gregor living in a dream world? Oh, well. That’s the price of a failed self-lobotomy. Gregor is sure there are a few excellent groups in the Universe. He just hasn’t found any of them.

Gregor lives here.

The Leaky Writer

The Plumber

I’m not thinking about straight-ahead journalism here. Not news reporting, scientific papers, pure history or anything of that ilk. I’m thinking about the creative writer, the fiction author, the storyteller or the humorist. I’m absolutely talking about the poet and that special kind of writer whose genre cannot be defined.

I’m thinking about the story behind the story. It’s all about the leaky writer.

It’s cliche to even mention that all writers are ultimately writing about themselves. Sure, the thought is worn down, overused, just accepted as part of the writing game. But it’s also true and it’s an enormous slice of the reading experience, if you pay attention.

We read the story, the novel, the screenplay, whatever. We like it. The characters are compelling, the story line moves us in some way that we appreciate. But underneath it all, hidden behind every scene and each character who slides through the pages, lurks the life of the writer. It’s the leaky writer syndrome and it’s universal.

Sometimes we aren’t even aware of the leaky writer. His or her personal story goes unnoticed, camouflaged by the plot and the players. That other layer sleeps deeply and may never rise to the surface. Even in these cases, it’s there. It’s always lying in wait for the reader, for just that right and careful reader.

Creative writers are leaky writers. It’s not an intentional action, not some subtle plan designed to layer two or more stories into a single piece of work. In fact, the leaky writer doesn’t usually know he or she is leaky, at first. That subtle story comes out later, maybe in the editing process, maybe in a later draft. Sometimes the back story lies dormant for years or decades and only surfaces later in life.

Many excellent writers never recognize their own leaky writing. It’s an unconscious process, a free-form exercise in art and storytelling that just happens in the background. They write a single story but they are telling two, or even more. It’s their own back story that serves as the foundation for all they have created. It’s the very soul of their art.

Drip emitter

Do you recognize these leaks when you read? Sometimes they are so subtle, so diffuse, that they almost disappear. Still, they are lurking back there, just waiting to surprise you when you least expect it. These are the hidden treasures, the path that leads you back into the writer’s heart and mind.

When you write, do you see your own leaks? Are you even aware of them?

I’m not. Mine all happen in the dark and I usually don’t recognize them until much later, if at all. Sometimes, a close friend or lover can ferret them out, point directly at them, and slap you across the head with an outcome. Sometimes they just stay dormant, maybe forever. Even when they seem to disappear, they are critical to the writing process. It’s the heart of the art.

Does this happen to you? I’ll bet it does, all the time. If you’re a creative writer, you’re a leaky writer. In fact, if you’re an artist of any kind, you’re just filled with leaks, always working at least two story lines at the same time, usually unaware of what’s going on behind the scenes. Your art is at least half an unconscious process, a wonderful synergy that makes creation meaningful and fun.

Go back and look at something you wrote a while ago, maybe years ago. Read it for the hidden story line, looking for the leaks. Sniff out those little tells, that subtle tapestry behind the story you created inside your piece of art. Over the years, you’ll find your personal story in those leaks. You’ll discover a little more about who you are as a person and an artist.

So, the next time you read for pure pleasure, keep an eye out for those leaks. They are just waiting to be discovered. In them you’ll find the soul of the writer and his or her story.

Richard Nixon may have needed plumbers but you don’t. Keep loving those leaks.