Keep your day job (as long as it doesn’t involve writing). Have you ever longed to dispense that advice to a would-be novelist but were too kind or cowardly to do so? The self-publishing phenomenon coupled with the democratic ideal that ANYONE can write a novel present an ethical dilemma to many of us. Technology allows those with tenacity and funding to produce a book whether or not it is worth reading. Skills such as talent, imagination and ability may be cast to the winds without a publishing gatekeeper to provide input. Some writers refuse to accept the mildest suggestions, even ones that can help to point them in the right direction. They regard criticism as a foreign substance whose poison must be immediately expelled from their body. As a result, the literary world is awash with detritus. For every hidden gem one finds a nest of ill conceived, poorly written tomes that should immediately be consigned to the remainder bin. For those who yearn to write, listen to your peers as well as your own inner voice. Good writers are few and far between. So consider this advice: keep your day job.