Why does everyone have to write a book?

I tried to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers Scheme last week. For those of you in the US, the RNA‘s a British association for romance writers, although a lot of their authors seem to write more chick-lit than what American readers would consider romance.

I hadn’t heard from them (not surprising, since you have to apply via snail mail), and last night I saw on their website that the scheme’s full for 2010. I emailed to find out if they’re received my application in time, but my name’s not on the list.

They must’ve received 250 applications in the first ten days or so of January. I’d read that, in previous years, they usually filled up by mid-February. I wonder why so many people this year were eager to join.

The Rejectionist and Nathan Bransford are both suffering from query deluges (would the ‘s’ be pronounced in ‘deluges’? This question for my French friends). Nathan comes up with several possible reasons. I have one to add: Everyone’s fed up – whether with family, work, economy, whatever – and they feel the need to do something different, like get published.

I’m guessing lots of the people who are trying to submit manuscripts to RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme, to agents like Nathan, and to agents’ gatekeepers like the Rejectionist all started their manuscripts around the time the economy tanked. I started when I was assigned the World’s Most Difficult Project at work, and I needed to do something creative in my free time to give my brain a happy place to escape to.

Who else has noticed an increase in the number of people trying to get published?

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