On Being the Exception (Or Not)

This video has been making the rounds on lots of agent/writer blogs and by now, you’ve probably seen it. It’s funny for many reasons, especially to those of us who’ve spent huge chunks of our lives writing, researching (for our books & the publishing industry in general), honing our craft and absorbing every little tidbit we can about plotting, world/character building, story structure, query letters, literary agencies, publishing houses, etc.

I’m assuming this video has given many agents a laugh, mostly because it centers around an aspiring author attitude that, unfortunately, they’re forced to deal with all the time: I AM THE EXCEPTION.  

And that’s why it’s funny to me. Embarrassingly enough, I can relate to some of the grandiose declarations of the video’s “novelist.” Long before I got serious about publishing, when I was writing blindly and hoping for the best, I too, believed I could be the exception. That’s dangerous, people. Very dangerous, and it leads to disheartened writers and crushed dreams. I’m wiser now, much more informed and eager to learn more, and now I reside comfortably in the I’ll Never Be The Exception camp.  

Still, I can embrace my formerly flawed outlook. Please tell me I’m not the only aspiring writer who’s had one or more of the following misguided thoughts:

1) My book is going to be a best seller.
2) I’ll  quit my job and live of my writing money.
3) I’ve already written the first page (it’s really awesome).
4) My book will be pushed to the front of the publishing line because it’s just that fabulous.
5) Nothing like MY book has ever been done before.
6) I don’t need a literary agent; I can manage my “career” on my own, OR
7) Literary agents  will be fighting over my book.
8 ) Soon I’ll be on a glamorous book tour.
9) I don’t need to brush up on craft–I already know how to spell and punctuate.
10) It’s only a matter of time before I see my book represented on the big screen.
11) I’m a story-teller–it will all work out.
12) I’m a student of the human condition–of course my characters will be amazing.
13) I’ll work on several projects at once and complete them all in a reasonable amount of time.

HA! What about you? What rule of publishing/writing/querying did you believe you might be the exception to?

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