Don't Make Writing That Novel a Someday Thing

Not long ago, at the recent O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York City, Bob Young, founder and CEO of Lulu, a web-based personal publishing service, said, "We've seen a huge increase in people who meant to write a book and now are unemployed and are writing the book."

As an agent and novelist, I think this is great. These people are finally able to pursue their writing dreams; something good has come out of something bad.

But I think it's sad, too.

Why is writing a novel so often a "someday" thing? You know, that guy who comes up to you at a party and says he's got a great book in him and will get it down on paper someday. Just doesn't have the time now.

Or that woman who says she's looking forward to starting her novel when she's retired... in approximately fourteen years.

Obviously there's something holding these people back. The message seems to be that if they can't write full-time, they won't write at all.