Recently, a student told me she was too scatterbrained to write her novel without help, and that she needed someone to crack the whip, set deadlines, help her focus, etc. She said she needed an editor or a partner, or both.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that sort of thing from writing students. Maybe such people are better suited to journalism, which thrives on deadlines; or writing assigned articles, where the subject matter and the word count are predetermined. Not easy to get such work these days, of course. I wish I could wave a magic wand and give emerging writers more discipline and focus, or that I had an address book full of the names of editors just waiting to help unpublished writers write their first books, but I can’t, and I don’t.