On Being a “Wannabee” and Sour Grapes…

I just read the latest posts from David Hewson’s blog, “Writer Pro: The Emperor’s Clothes Are Missing”, followed closely by “Writing and the Application of Snake Oil.”

Yeah. While I liked his “Snake Oil” post, after looking at his review of Writer Pro, the “Snake Oil” post has a distinct aroma of sour grapes.

Not that I’m immune to the bad-tasting fruit syndrome–see my recent “Outdoor Ice Hockey” post. If the NHL had chosen to price its tickets so that I could attend, I would be singing the NHL’s praises and praying for a coldish, overcast but not rainy, day.

I am a “someone never having sold a book in their life or even worked in publishing” who is hoping to self-publish. I have no delusion that this is easy. I must put my work up against that of established authors such as Mr. Hewson. I must write a story that engages my readers. That alone is enough to deal with, as he says. Then, without the resources of his publishers, I must make sure that my work presents a polished, professional image. Finally, I must provide the distribution and marketing that his publishers provide for him.


You bet that I and others like myself are sitting ducks for snake oil salesmen. As a result of NaNoWrimo participation, I’ve recently gotten a few free copies of “How to Self-Publish” tomes, which have hit my Mac’s trash folder. A few of the iOS apps I’ve bought for my iPad have gone the same way, with my money following them. Scammers always know where to find carrion.

There is not now nor will there ever be any software that makes it the least bit difficult to write a bad novel.

And, Mr. Hewson? You’re right. Writing fiction does not require rocket science. I’m a rocket scientist, and I know that writing fiction does not require rocket science.

Writing fiction is harder. Trust me.