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Can a man of few words . . . write a book?

I posted this as my Facebook status this morning, but the more I thought about it the more I felt it deserved its own blog post.  As I contemplated what to write, I started envisioning what the publishing process would be like if it were more similar to applying for a job.  This is the way my mind works sometimes.

Interviewer:  Good morning Mr. Hammons.  Won't you please have a seat?

Me:  I'd rather stand.

Interviewer:  Hmmmmmm.  That would make me feel uncomfortable.  Let me change that from a request  to a command.  Have a seat.

Me:  Is that better?

Interviewer:  Much.  I see here on your application that you would like to be hired as a published writer.  Lets start by you telling me what qualifies you for this position?

Me:  Well . . . I've written two full-length novels, although only one of them is what I would consider publishable right now.

Interviewer:  Do you have any other qualifications?

Me:  Like what?

Interviewer:  Have you ever written a short story that has done well in a contest?  Possibly there's something in your education, a degree in literature?  Maybe you've worked in the publishing industry in some fashion?  Anything along those lines that demonstrate a propensity for writing?  Do you write a blog that's extremely popular?

Me: I do write a blog, but it's still new and I don't have that many followers yet.  Aside from that, I don't have any of those other things you mentioned.  But I do write a lot of instructional manuals where I work.  Does that help? 

Interviewer:  Not at all.  Did you base your novel on a topic that you alone are uniquely positioned to write about?

Me:  It's a murder mystery/thriller.

Interviewer:  Oh.  No help there.  I'm afraid I'm not seeing anything on your application that would even remotely suggest that you'd be successful as a published author.  To top it off, the results of the test you took when you arrived wasn't very favorable.

Me:  Are you talking about peeing in the cup?

Interviewer:  I'm referring to the personality questionnaire you filled out.

Me:  What about it?

Interviewer:  Is that a banana?

Me: Yes, it is.  I didn't get any lunch today.  I also brought an apple, would you like it?

Interviewer:  No thank you.  Back to your personality test.  It basically paints you as being an introvert, lacking social skills and uncomfortable in group situations.

Me: (Chewing) So.

Interviewer:  That hardly constitutes the personality of someone able to tell a story in a manner that it keeps the readers hanging on every word.  I could see where just the dialogue alone would be a challenge for you.

Me: Dialogue is one of my strong points.

Interviewer:  I find that hard to imagine.

Me:  And that's why your not a writer.  For your information, there is very little correlation between social skills and the ability to write. Amazing writers such as J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, Thomas Pynchon, and Cormac McCarthy are known for being recluses.  You not hiring me to be a writer because I'm not outgoing enough is like not hiring a lumberjack to cut down tree's because he's a vegetarian.  One's got nothing to do with the other.  I'm insulted that you've judged me and made up your mind without even reading my material.  The book should speak for itself.

Interviewer:  I know.

Me:  You do?  Then why were you giving me such a hard time.

Interviewer:  I wasn't . . . you were.  This is your imagination.

Me:  Oh. 


  1. I feel like I was just in a Monty Python movie...."I'm here for an argument"

  2. i didn't think men liked to eat bananas in front of other people....


  3. Bananas . . . no problem. Popsicles . . . that's another story.




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