Strong Points

Have you noticed, as a writer, there does not seem to be a lot of separation of tasks? I mean, sure, we write, we rewrite, we edit, we polish, which all supposedly falls under the umbrella of writing. The writers I know often seem to be better at one side than the other as far as the writing and the editing go. Some people race through rough drafts with the ease of a knife through butter, and others can polish a sentence to the shine of a mirror in one pass.

None of that goes with the rest of what the writer has to do – be visible. Does it take an awesome writer to gain visibility? Answers may vary, but the short answer is no. You can say all you want about what makes a great writer, but those talents are not the same as the ones to get you noticed by your audience. All of that is about publicity.

Publicity takes different strengths entirely. You can’t be afraid to be noticed or to have people look at you. It’s silly because most of the writers I know are fairly shy people. A lot of them wouldn’t mind at all if you locked them in a tower and bounced their manuscripts off to be published somewhere – but it doesn’t really work that way.

Once you gain some notoriety, then there are both good and bad ratings of your work. Well, this gives the sensitive writer something else to be shy about. One always hopes there will be something good to say about the work in question, but someone out there is always willing to dash your hopes.

There are published books out there about the rejection letters other writers received. I think these books are supposed to be inspirational, but how much rejection is one supposed to take? Once the book comes out and an author waits for reviews, they might be good and might be bad. Plus, even financial success and movie deals won’t stop an amateur or even a non-writer from saying how the book could have been better or saying that the author isn’t good.

Do you ever stop and say, really? First, they tell you not to go into the field because it’s cutthroat. Second, they tell you to expect you’re getting better if you get a hand-written rejection. Third, even getting a book deal with a major publishing house and sharing your vision of character and plot with all the readers and getting your name to be recognized and you still need to deal with the naysayers? Does anyone know when s/he’s reached success?

I know if I believed everything they told me I probably wouldn’t keep writing and submitting my work. Part of why I do it is just to share them with people who would like to read them. In keeping with that goal, I’m posting a story on this site for free within the next week or so. Ironing out the last few kinks in the electronic formats with a copyeditor friend of mine. Don’t be afraid to comment whether you like it or not – partly I want to know that you’re reading it. If you want to send me feedback, please do so to my email. I would dearly love to hear from all of you.

Part of surviving the writing business is knowing where you’re strong and emphasizing those points. I’m not the best at promotion, but I am learning as I go and definitely figuring things out. Enjoy the freebie. I haven’t decided if I’m going to make it a regular thing, but that is definitely something I wouldn’t mind doing if the response is good. [A good response being a lot of people want to read it, not just a lack of death-threats for me to stop writing in my inbox.]

Happy reading.

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