The craft and business of being a writer
The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, taking place in New York City in a few weeks, is for literary writers of all experience levels, published, unpublished, or self-published. According to the event’s website, the conference program is “designed to give (writers) a balanced education in both the craft and the business of being a writer, in an encouraging and inspiring environment.” Read More
Too much pressure?
I hemmed and hawed about joining a writing group for years. I wanted to, because I felt it would push me to write more and write better. But I had long periods where I couldn’t seem to write, at least not anything I thought was decent. I felt that the pressure of a writing group would be counterproductive and would result in my feeling worse about my writing than before.
Yet I saw other writers talking about how such groups helped them finish their novels.
If you have hesitated, like me, afraid of the pressure, then work on finding or starting a writing group that gives as much support as criticism. Read More
Feedback, direct or indirect
At some point in the writing process, you’re going to have to accept some criticism, either direct or indirect. By direct I mean from your writing group or beta readers (if you have them), your editor (if you’ve hired one), your agent (if you’re good enough that one takes you on), or the editors at your publishing house (if you can get in the door).
You don’t have to go through that process at all, of course—after all, mainstream publishing is now represented by merely a handful of gatekeepers, and they’re not looking out for your best interests, right? Or so the self-publishing mavens say. So self-publish, get your book out there, and skip all these steps. Then wait for the sales and rave reviews to pour in. And wait. And wait. Read More
I named my blog “Write.Edit.Share.Repeat” because I wanted to encourage everyone to write, to make their work as perfect as they could, to share it with others (self-publish, if you can’t get a deal with a mainstream publisher), and then to keep going. When I tell people, “If you want to write, just write,” I mean it.
But everyone has limitations. I struggle with writing, myself, and more than half of the time I don’t like what has emerged on the paper or screen. You have to write, edit, revise, edit, revise. No book you see on a shelf in a bookstore was a first draft. Read More
This is important . . . read it now!
Hopefully others who work for themselves can identify with this. When I’m supposed to be working, or when I’m supposed to shut down and go to sleep, I sometimes find myself doing other things, all of which feel very important at the time. I’ll read a blog about economics or watch how-to YouTube videos about things I want to learn . . . and thirty minutes later find myself numbly watching yet another sappy video of a guy “creatively” proposing to his girlfriend.
The educational videos are more valuable than the proposal videos, but all of them are time suckers. When I finally go to bed, I sometimes carry guilt about all the things I could have or should have accomplished that day.
There is a happy medium between self-acceptance (there are just 24 hours in every day) and better discipline (it’s easy to waste a lot of those hours). Read More
Misplaced apostrophes (which other editing and writing blogs have gone on about ad infinitum) are one of my pet peeves, but there’s another kind of writing “crime” that gets to me: excessive, yet often random, capitalization. I am not sure how things got so bad, but it was probably someone’s misplaced effort to write “politely” and to honor folks with their correct titles, even though there was no reason why those titles needed to be capitalized. Even the president of the United States does not get capitalized in normal text, unless “President” is followed by “Obama” or is used in place of his name: “Mr. President, Putin is on the line.” Read More
I finished proofreading a manuscript recently and handed it in to the publisher I was working for. And then I started to get my usual bout of nerves about what kind of job I did. Did I find everything? Did I overstep my bounds? Did I insert my opinion too much and change things that did not need to be changed?
Sometimes as a proofreader I spot something in the book that’s wrong, and I have to point it out. Read More
I just signed in to NaNoWriMo. I wasn’t going to do it. I still don’t know if I’m going to do it. It’s a heartwrenching, anxiety-inducing notion that I can write 50,000 words in one month, let alone an actual story. As one writer on the site declared, November brings “Th-angst-giving.”
Is there any writer out there who does not know what NaNoWriMo is? Read More