C.J. Darlington, co-founder of TitleTrakk, is running a great series on her blog: She started a series of blog posts in which industry professionals (editors, agents, publicists, authors, etc.) share their responses to this question:
"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
Allen Arnold's response...
The Top Ten Reasons – NOT – to Write a Novel:
If you first and foremost want to preach a sermon
If you first and foremost want to teach a lesson
If your biggest and only fan is your mom or spouse (critiques from honest writing groups are like gold!)
If you’re following the latest trend or the style of a writer (I’m the next ______) rather than charting your own path. The next John Grisham phenomena will not be a John Grisham clone.
If you’re not open to re-working the story countless times until others confirm that it shines
If you’re not willing for a seasoned book agent to challenge and sharpen your proposal / novel
If you’re not willing to invest as much time – sometimes more - than a publishing partner in promoting the novel tirelessly
If you see it as a way to get rich
If you aren’t willing to take equal ownership of the novel’s success or failure
If you aren’t able to remain humble with success and hopeful with failure
The Top Reason TO Write a Novel
Because you feel God’s pleasure when you write Fiction (my nod to Chariots of Fire)…and hunger to become a master at the craft for the sake of the story more than the deal. When the story must be birthed, everything beyond that is gravy and, ultimately, in God’s hands.
--Allen Arnold, Senior Vice President & Publisher, Fiction, Thomas Nelson Publishers. Visit Thomas Nelson's website here.