Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

WANTED: Day Dreamer, World Builder, Relentless Flounderer (An Ode to NaNoWriMo Writers)

Bezleton sits at his desk in the interplanetary weigh station known as The Unemployment Office interviewing job candidates. He folds four of his six legs under the desk to make the human interviewees less nervous, but he has a wicked rash behind his left bulbous eye that requires scratching on a regular basis. He's alert for who this will make uncomfortable.

Candidate #1 enters clutching a stack of galleys of her latest novel.

Bezlegrub: So your resume says you're an author?
Candidate#1: That's right. I think it's important to distinguish between authors and mere writers -
Bezlescratch: Next!
Candidate#1: Don't you want to see my awards?
Bezlenuf: *waves pincer* Move along, please...

Candidate #2 strolls in wearing an all-black uni-suit that renders him almost invisible.

Bezlewhat: I'm sorry, this interview is for the position of World Builder. Are you perhaps here for the position of Actuarial Assistant next door?
Candidate#2: Of course not! My last novel went to auction and earned a six figure advance! Don't you know who I am?
Bezleitch: Well, I can barely see you...
Candidate#2: Oh that's just the suit. This old thing, I just throw it on whenever I leave the house. Which isn't often. I need my space, you understand. My unadulterated space. Don't infringe on my space, dude!
Bezleright: Um, understood. So this six-figure advance novel that you've written... does it have substantial worldbuilding? We're looking for someone who can create an entire world here -
Candidate#2: Psh!
Bezlehuh: Psh? Did you actually say -
Candidate#2: PSH! Who needs words? I have whole worlds - entire galaxies, mind you! - all inside here. *taps temple* But my space has been crowded lately, man. The words have no room to flow. I am telling you, the neighbor's cat is Satan's werebeast! He haunts me -
Bezlesheebus: Next!
Candidate#2: *leaves but it's hard to tell*

Candidate #3 hesitates at the door. She watches Candidate #2 leave in a huff.

Candidate#3: Is this the place for World Builder interviews? I got confused by the walking black hole...
Bezleyeah: Absolutely! Please come in. Take a seat.

Bezleton scratches his rash. Candidate #3 watches with interest.

Candidate#3: Looks nasty.
Bezlehmm: Just a topical thing, not contagious.
Candidate#3: Cool.
Bezleserious: So, tell me about your novels.
Candidate#3: Um, well, they're stories about aliens and spaceships and people and stuff. You know, just stories.
Bezleperk: Your resume says you've written "several." How many is that exactly?
Candidate#3: I really hate questions like that. I mean, do you count the graphic novel? It doesn't seem like you should. Plus I did it when I was seven. But I've written a lot since then! It's gotten better. Mostly.
Bezlelean: So you've written a lot?
Candidate#3: Yeah, I mean, I guess. Most of it's just messing around.
Bezlearch: Messing around?
Candidate#3: Well, yeah. *nervous laugh* Like your ad says, "Relentless Flounderer." That's me.
Bezlecue: So you flounder a lot? While you're writing?
Candidate#3: Yeah... pretty much all the time.
Bezlewho: But you keep at it?
Candidate#3: I tried quitting once. Worst three days of my life.
Bezlehitch: Don't you ever feel like you know what you're doing?
Candidate#3: Every once in a while. Like when I finally see how the protagonist's evolution was predestined from the time he met the villain way back before the story started, and I totally get why they're interconnected, like they're all part of one continuous story of the universe unfolding? Sometimes that happens. It usually passes quickly.
Bezleeam: You're hired!
Candidate#3: Um, what?
Bezleyes: You're just what we need.
Candidate#3: What exactly is this job?
Bezleyike: Didn't you read the description before you applied?
Candidate#3: Honestly, no. The title caught my eye and I clicked through. I figured what the heck, it's worth a shot.
Bezlehope: You're going to be perfect for this. We need someone to reinvent the universe: tear it down, build it up, and recreate it into something better. Something real. Something that will inspire people with all types of appendages to dream big and dare to climb their own personal challenges.
Candidate#3: Crap. I can't do all that.
Bezlenod: Yeah, probably not. But you're the only one who even has a chance of succeeding.
Candidate#3: Do you have some kind of nano-tech materialization device to do all this?
Bezlepump: That sounds like a good place to start...

If you're convinced that you have no idea what you're doing, that you can't possibly accomplish a fraction of your ambitions for the story you're about to start... then you're the perfect person for the job.

Dedicated to all the National Novel Writing Month Crazy Pants Writers starting their next voyage soon.

p.s. I won't be NaNo-ing with you this year, but I'm with you in spirit.


  1. I love this. As a floundering NaNo writer, I am excited to get started this year. Thanks for this boost.


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