Facing It | Four Writing Personalities

I think that most of those who write, including myself, have dreamed of having their name included among the greatest authors of their time, from time to time anyway. So I’ve listed, down below, several things I tried and learned they’re things I just cannot do. Or. rather, need more time accomplishing. The next points emphasize the facts that not everything is free, whether its your time or your money.

  1. The Unrealistic Goal Setter. Word count and completion goals
    You really don’t need to be a hero in this area. Any time I give myself an unreasonable goal my mind sabotages my thought process. I always do everything and anything to “distract” myself from actually reaching those goals. For example, I made an IG post the other day about being *this close* to finishing the first draft of my novella. What do I do? I watch late night tv, bake, Star Trek, blog, stare at social media like it’s actually important – you get the picture.

    Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you’re a new writer, set reasonable goals to start off. If you have a full or part time job on the side, work around that schedule. If you’re worried about word count, and you’re not even contracted for it, there’s no need to think twice about deadlines. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity.

    Don’t set yourself up for failure. […] You don’t want to sacrifice quality for quantity.

  2. The Egotist. Not writing anything down because you can always remember it
    I mean, really now. Unless you have one of those fancy eidetic memories, don’t kid yourself. If you think of it, write it down. If you dream it, write it down. That’s why you see pictures of piles of story notebooks and journals on your fellow writers and authors social media pages. It’s not just for show (well, in the world of social media itself, it could still be just for show). Regardless…

    #WriteTip: if you haven’t already, start your own stockpile of journals. Big ones, little ones, fancy ones, or simple ones. Find your own niche; the way you prefer to write. Even if you’re one of those strictly-electronic people, you’re not always going to have your laptop or computer by your bed. So get that notepad and start writing!

    If you think of it, write it down. If you dream it, write it down.

  3. The Over-dreamer. Thinking you’re going to get a publisher on your first query
    That is as fantastical as that fantastical fiction you’re writing. There are countless tales online of it taking years for writers to get noticed by a publisher. Now I’m not saying this to scare you away from your publishing prospects, not at all. Think of the next two points as the tough love section. Just how there are “cold calls” done by telemarketers, submitting a manuscript out of the blue can be considered “cold calling” as well without doing any research into the publishing house or sending out a customized a query letter.

    “But I just want to get published!” Trust me, I get it. I really do. But if going the traditional route is the way you’ve chosen, then you need to have the patience of a saint and the drive to do your research into the publishing houses you want to try for. Here’s a tip I recently learned from my uncle – don’t use that publisher’s book that has lists of agents, publishing houses, editors, etc. for at least the publishers side of it. His reasoning: from the time that book is published to the time you potentially buy it, information could already be outdated. A publishing house could go under. An agent may decide to not represent authors anymore. Go to your genre’s section in an actual book store. It can be at a place like Half Price Books, that unique mom and pop shop you love so much or even Barnes N Noble (if they’re still around in your area). Open the covers of the books in that section and take note of their publication pages. That way you can go online and you’ll know for sure that they’re actually still around.

    Publishing this way takes a lot of hard work, patience (as already mentioned), and tenacity. Make sure you’re choosing houses (no, I don’t mean being sorted into Gryffindor) that might suit you. Or, if you do have an agent, make sure it’s a genre they’ll be just as passionate about representing as you are. Either way, patience, patience patience!

    Publishing this way take a lot of hard work, patience and tenacity.

    1. The World Revolves Around Me. Thinking you can find an editor for free. Or a book cover designer or…
      If you’re going the self-publishing route, be prepared to potentially spend a lot of money doing so. On several websites for editors I’ve found that the minimum is $500 for 20k to 30k words. Ouch! But if you’re looking for an editor or one of those folks who critique works, I’m sure you’ve already heard that it is a valuable investment and it is. It gets you in touch with folks who have been in the business for years and know what to look for. Which reminds me…I need an editor…

      Along the same lines, cover designing is also up in the non-freebie realm. Even though there’s the old adage of “never judging a book by its cover,” we all still do it, right? Admit it. If the cover doesn’t pique your interest as a reader first, you’re likely to pass it up without even reading the back cover or inside flap. If you have artists in your family or you’re incredibly talented yourself, go for doing it yourself. However, I wouldn’t suggest putting one of those “can anyone just help me out?” tweets up and expect folks to come running. To many it can seem like your begging for attention and you wouldn’t want that either.

      Even though there’s the old adage of “never judging a book by its cover,” we all still do it, right? Admit it. If the cover doesn’t pique your interest as a reader first, you’re likely to pass it up without even reading the back cover or inside flap.

Publishing is still big business. Don’t let those who want to move everything to the tech world fool you into thinking that it’s a dead line of work. Do you know how many other authors and writers I’ve connected with through Twitter and Instagram? Many have been in the biz for years but a good many of them are babies just like me. We’re still finding our way and trusting the experienced to not lead us astray. Sometimes the writer’s community can be a toxic one, but if you surround yourself with the right folks who encourage you and you them, then you have found some gems.

Sometimes the writer’s community can be a toxic one, but if you surround yourself with the right folks who encourage you and you them, then you have found some gems.

Keep an eye out for the scams. If something looks too good to be true then it probably is. If someone is asking you to “give us x amount and we’ll do ALL THIS for YOU,” run hard. Run fast. I came across a website like that recently and their graphics kept emphasizing that they accepted all forms of payment even though they looked quite professional. If you get the feeling that something is off, check their location, their social media presence (ie follower count to the number of active users on their posts – they could have purchased followers to seem like they have a good presence online), and so on.

If you’ve found a mentor you can trust throughout your journey, ask them.
Rely on your instincts and write.

Rely on your instincts and write.

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