Are Novelists a Dying Breed?

Time for ChangeOh the times they are a-changing.”  Remember that song?

Well guess what?  Times are always changing.  They always have changed and they always will change. The only question is, will you be at the forefront of the change, or left in the dust?

Pitiful Bad News

I know, I know.  I can read; I can hear.  All the pitiful bad news:Be A Novelist

  •   Publishing companies are going broke
  •   Book stores are folding
  •   No one reads anymore
  •   Heck with reading – no one is even buying books anymore

If we believe all of that, no one will ever write another novel, ever.  Just as well cash it all in and walk away.  (For many aspiring novelists, this is why their novel-in-progress is tucked away gathering dust. See blog “Where is Your Novel?”)

Ups and Downs

I just have to chuckle a little at all of this bad news hoopla.  Why?  Because I’ve seen a number of ups and downs throughout my writing career.

I remember in the ‘70s when video was becoming popular.  The alarm went out that the demise of books was near.

I remember sometime later when the alarm went out that there was going to be a severe paper shortage.  There wouldn’t be enough paper to even write your novel, let alone get it published into book form.

This is just two brief examples to hopefully set things in perspective.

Those Who Have Gone Before

Jane AustenI was privileged to write a number of author bios for Chelsea House Publishing.  I wrote about F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jane Austen (my hero), Samuel Clemens, the Bronte sisters, and several others.  What fun I had peeking into the lives of my fellow authors.

One familiar thread ran through every bio – each of these novelists was intensely focused on writing what was in their heart to write.  They cared nothing about bad news, downturns in the economy, who was in government, whether or not their work would ever grace anyone’s bookshelf.  They wrote because they could not NOT write.  It was like a fire burning in their bones.

So where does all the bad news go?  That is your decision to make.  I certainly have a few thoughts on the subject, but I cannot lead your life.

It all boils down to this:  What matters most – what’s going on in the world; or what’s burning inside you to get out and written on paper? (OR on your computer?)

You must decide!


I trust the teaching and instruction given in this blog post was helpful in your goal to be a novelistFor more in-depth writer’s workshops, check out the wide variety offered at the Be A Novelist Website.


Are you one of those budding novelists who makes a great start but you can’t seem to finish?  Then this is for you!  Be A Novelist, Six-Month, Finish-My-Novel Challenge!  Six full months of guidance and instruction. Guaranteed to light a fire under your novel-writing attempts and to launch you into a pattern of consistent writing! Check it out here!


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2 thoughts on “Are Novelists a Dying Breed?

  1. sandyn1949

    I have already published 5 e-books and have begun 3 more! So long as I have stories to write, I will do so. I may never be a famous author, but I will never stop trying to get my books ‘out there.’

  2. Arbiya

    I agree – I try never to let people see my mascunripts either, except the actual agent or editor whose job it is to look after it on the way to publication. You just get a load of conflicting advice otherwise and your head explodes trying to work out who’s right and who’s wrong. If I’m told by someone whose job it is to tell me to change something, then I change it (unless it’s a REALLY bad decision). But I know many writers swear by sending their work to other people, especially poets. I guess I’m the secretive type!At the TS Eliot Prize readings last night, I was in a box – and the lady next to me was reading a novel by Maggie O’Farrell. I couldn’t see which one – it was dark – but caught the name on the cover. Looked blueish. Didn’t like to peer too hard in case she thought I was odd. Which I am, of course. But in a nice way. 😉


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