Many apologies for the delay. New job, new house, moving to a new state, and other life events forced my writing to the backseat, which I always hate. Now that things are settled, I'll be posting more frequently.
I'd like to place a correction to my Twilight reference from the previous post. Stephenie Meyer did not live anywhere near New York, nor did she have many networked connections in the writing world before she was published. Her story is one of having the right book for the right market at the right time.
So maybe that's half the battle after all. Perhaps your masterpiece sitting in a drawer collecting dust hasn't found it's market yet--maybe it's a fantasy novel trying to make it in a world of Dystopias, led by the immensely popular Hunger Games (Note: Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins is an example of previous connections paying off--she was a screenwriter for Clarissa Explains It All before someone suggested she try her hand at novels.). Or, maybe, like Stephenie Meyer, you can defy the odds and be an exception to the rule.
After the last post, a kind commenter also pointed out that popular authors, once established, don't seem to put in the same amount of effort when they write subsequent books. She cited Fannie Flag and Jaqueline Mitchard as examples. I have not yet read these authors, but I'm familiar with the phenomenon. (See: Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich, Mitch Albom, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Julie Powell.) My theory is this: once successful, authors are restricted to deadlines, and their creativity is more forced--which produces less desirable results.
Because who, unless they have superhuman talent, can write on demand? I sure can't, particularly when my husband nudges me into putting poetic greetings in our holiday cards (even though I don't work well under pressure and, with the exception of Emily Dickinson, despise poetry). I did write said poem, but the process wasn't fun and the content reeked.
But, that's just one theory. I'm open to other suggestions as to why writing quality is being sacrificed for other things. So, for those of you still out there, I'm interested in your thoughts.
-The Writer Librarian