Posts Tagged ‘writing feedback’

Let’s talk writers. It is high time I added a little to my ‘Writing Central’.

As much as we do not want to admit it: the difference between a published author and unpublished author is how many times they have been rejected. Published = rejected dozens of time. Unpublished = too afraid to get rejected.

It may not be a perfect rule. Some people are lucky or blessed enough not to have to suffer much rejection. Some people are crazy like me and self-publish. Yet even crazy people like me should submit our work to those who have paved the way in order to receive true feedback. There is much to learn from these wise and wizened people who have suffered and triumphed in the realm of publishing. So how do we access their knowledge?

1. Read blogs, articles, and books. You will find a lot of helpful information when you read the ramblings of professionals on how they earned success. Just be aware that you do not have to mimic everything they did. I am truly saddened by how many young writers are discouraged out of writing because they cannot write in the exact format that their heroes did. Read them; learn from them; mimic them; but find your own style.

2. Email authors. Write a one to two paragraph email with no spelling errors and a professional format. Say who you are briefly and what genre you write. Tell the author you respect them; then ask for any  tips they might be able to pass on. Do NOT submit your novel (or even ask to) in this first email. You will scare the author away.

3. Find a mentorship program or go to a writing conference. There are plenty of writers’ conferences and some really good programs out there. Access these, if only for networking. (Look who is talking. I’ve never been to a writing conference. But I still take every opportunity I can to talk with other authors).

4. Don’t get discouraged if you are ignored. There are people out there who will talk to you. Just keep writing your short, nice emails (to other people who may not ignore you).

5. Wait. If you email a professional in publishing, wait at least three weeks before you send a follow-up. Publishers have 4-6 weeks (or more) to get back to you before you have even surfaced to the top of their to-do lists. Push too hard and you’ll brand yourself poorly in the industry. These marks are permanent.

5. Submit completed work only. When an author or publisher is willing to look at your short story or manuscript do not waste your opportunity (you may only get one) on an unfinished work that you might never finish. Make sure it is completed before you send it off.

Good luck!

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