What Writers Shouldn’t Do… Part 2

Hi there. Sugar here. Last week we talked about the crazy things writers shouldn’t do in order to get the attention of an agent or editor. This week we are going to discuss things writers shouldn’t do in general.

Bash Other People’s Work. Especially on social media.

Honest, well thought out reviews are one thing, but I saw a writer bash a conference speaker’s presentation on Twitter.  That’s BIG don’t in my book. Not only did I think, what a bitch, but I also thought it was petty and unprofessional. Now I won’t ever buy that writer’s work simply because I don’t respect them for being unkind about another person. We all have our opinions, but if you can’t say anything nice keep your big fat mouth shut.

Act High and Mighty

I met a NYT bestselling author whose books I genuinely enjoyed, but after meeting her I haven’t bought another one of her books. Why? She wasn’t nice or gracious or anything you would expect from an author who was meeting fans. The lesson: always be humble and gracious because if you aren’t, no matter how good your books are, people won’t buy them.

Go It Alone

I can’t say enough how awesome writer’s groups are. But even if you can’t make your local writer’s  group meetings join online groups. Connect with other writers on Twitter, Facebook, anywhere writers congregate. The support and advice are invaluable. Writing can be lonely. Make friends where you can.

Listen to Too Much Craft Advice

Writers are a helpful bunch of folks. It seems like everybody is dying to give advice, even when you don’t ask for it. But be very careful what advice you listen to. Not everybody knows what they’re talking about it. And you as the writer knows what’s best for your work.

 

Stop Writing

Getting published is hard. For most of us it takes years and years of rejection. And for some of us it may never happen. But don’t stop writing. Most of us write for the love of it. Not for the promise of fame and riches.  If you stop writing then you cease to be a writer. So keep it up, even when it can be discouraging.

That’s it for the shouldn’ts. Lets talk about some of the things writers should do. Any and all comments are welcome.

 

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5 thoughts on “What Writers Shouldn’t Do… Part 2”

  1. Thanks Sugar (love that name for you). Great list of things to keep in mind. As far as “should do’s”, there are tons. My first year in self-publishing taught me that my “should do” list buried me and pretty much threatened to make me quit. There are endless “shoulds” in this business; join FB/twitter/Goodreads/ pinterest/ tumbler/Wattpad/Linked in. You “should” write every day, focus on networking, study trends, learn the market, and blog three times a week. Then there are the “should” keep good records, learn to use spreadsheets, and budget for advertising…i could go on and on with my old “should do” lists, but it makes me nauseous just thinking about how overwhelming it all is.

    I finally realized that the only thing I really “should do” is enjoy the journey. For me, that means “letting go” of the idea that I have to do it all, paring down my daily “to do” lists, and knowing when I’ve done enough for one day–being satisfied with whatever I’ve accomplished and realizing the world will not come crashing down on me if I haven’t updated my Pinterest board in a while. There is a fine balance in this business and it’s easy to burn out and feel like you’ll never compete with the big dogs. Letting go of expectation and not “shoulding” all over yourself is my big take away from my first year. The rest is just common sense and being a good steward of your integrity, IMHO:-)

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