The Write Stuff

As a kid, I wrote because I liked it. And my sisters and I looked unapologetically dorky. Viva la freedom!

I’ve been agonizing over not having an agent for some time now. I had one; in fact, I’ve had several. But like a failed marriage, the bloom faded off the rose, and my various agents over the years parted ways with me over irreconcilable differences (mostly, I think, because I didn’t make enough money quickly enough.)  So last night, I was singing at a new place, Donovan’s Circle of Fifths, and sitting with Jincy Willett, a fantastic writer and admirable drinker of bourbon. I was lamenting my poor agent luck, when Jincy said, “Fuck them! All of them!” When I asked her to elaborate, she told me something that made a lot of sense. “You’ve had three books published. Just go directly to a publisher.” Better yet, she told me, just write. Write. Don’t worry about selling it, don’t worry about who will like it or not like it, just write.

This is very good advice. I realize that I have been too worried about selling my work, about having the life of a “published” author. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was small; when I did achieve it, I did feel amazing, wonderful, like being in love. But as in love, the hard work of actually maintaining the relationship (with writing, in this case) surfaced eventually, and I had to decide to be okay with letting go of the intoxicating infatuation of seeing my name on a bookshelf in Barnes and Noble. Which doesn’t happen anymore anyway, because my books have been remaindered and pulped and probably turned into copies of the New York phone book.

In short, I would like to thank Jincy Willett for insight, inspiration, and as ever, a kick in the head when needed.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jon ( know who!)
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 01:12:43

    I want to meet this Jincy person! Anyone who likes Bourbon is good people in my book! By the way, she is absolutely right: you’re a terrific writer. Write to satisfy your soul. The rest will come…


    • lpreble
      Sep 13, 2010 @ 01:16:56 is her website. She is a favorite writer of David Sedaris (another hero) and the mom of Ed, our piano player. You should read her books. They’re funny and dry with a bite, just like bourbon.


  2. Darla
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 04:36:07

    Just an FYI.. I found your book on the book shelf at MY B&N still ;).
    Secondly, You ARE amazing.. you always have been. You are a steller teacher, A wonderful friend, talented writer and Awesome Mom and wife.
    Those of us who know you always boast about how blessed we are to know you . Those of us who you taught, are lucky enough that we walked away with something of great value.
    I actually used one of you pep talks for a friend up here, He was nervous about going on stage and “how good” opening night was going to be because they had a critic coming.
    I was reminded of the time you told us, each show is special, no one in the whole world will ever do that show the same way again, not even that cast. You told us to enjoy the moment. All these years later I think back to the shows we did, not only in drama but chior too. I wouldn’t give up any of those moments for the world. I wouldn’t give any of them up for a perfect unflawed run every time.
    YOU did that, YOU taught us that YOU showed us it’s OKAY to just let go and run with it.
    Even if you never have another published writing, don’t stop doing what you love. Even if you only post it for family and friends to read you know we love reading what you write. ❤ you!


  3. Judy
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 16:29:57

    I can relate! I have a post-it note at the top of my easel that says “Just paint!” My rational mind says it’s dumb to keep spending more on supplies and framing than I earn on sale of art…but my real self says “You can’t give up your passion.”


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