Writer TruFax.

Fast and dirty today:

  • NO happens. There is no absolute NO in writing. NO should be loosely translated as NOT FOR ME PERSONALLY and there should be much moving on from NO.
  • Every writer gets a NO or forty. Every writer. Even your favorite writers got rejected by someone at some point in time.
  • Rejection hurts. It’s okay that it hurts. Cry it off if you have to, but if you really want this career, make like Dory and keep swimming.
  • There is no Secret Professional Writer Club. Do you write? Has someone paid you for your writing that’s not your mom? BAM. Professional writer.
  • Not all books sell after three days on submission. Some books take time. My debut took fourteen months of no news and a rewrite to land at auction.
  • Do not settle for the easiest deal. Easiest is often not the best. Anything worthwhile takes work and patience, that is especially true in this industry. Don’t sell yourself short.
  • Research people, agencies, publishers. Knowledge is power. Not everyone in the industry has your best interests at heart. In fact, it’s probably best to assume no one has your best interests at heart. A little paranoia will get you far.
  • Don’t be a dick. You reap what you sow. Publishing is a smaller petri dish than you might think. People talk.
  • Anything you aren’t 100% sure you should say on social media about your writing career? Yeah, don’t say it. Because as I said above, people talk.
  • Other writers aren’t your enemies. If you’re not a huge snotrocket of an individual, they will be your biggest advocates because they, too, have cried themselves to sleep on their rejection letters.
  • If you ask a writer for writing advice, a lot of them are going to say, “Sit your ass down and write.” This is not them being dismissive. There is no magical squirrel or super pill that will bestow the title AUTHOR upon you. Starting a book is easy, finishing a book is hard. Writers know this. If you want their career, sit down, write. Start to finish. Then, when that project completes, you do it all over again.
  • An agent ought to be your biggest advocate. If your agent isn’t, ask yourself if they’re the right agent for you.
  • You are not a special snowflake no matter what your mother told you.
  • Bad reviews happen, but if you were good enough to get bought, good reviews will happen, too.
  • By the love of Sky Poobah, don’t answer bad reviews with anger or an agenda. For the most part, don’t answer bad reviews.
  • Self-publishing is not selling out. It’s a completely valid approach to publishing.
  • Self-publishing shouldn’t be the easy way out, and if you approach it that way, you’re probably doing it wrong. Self-pubbers should have editors, a legit cover artist, and a marketing strategy.
  • Adults who read YA aren’t dim. Commercial fiction is not “dumbed down” for public consumption. Reading literary fiction doesn’t automatically make someone an elitist.
  • No one’s genre tastes make them better or worse than anyone else.
  • Fandoms sell books. Love the fandoms.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Ever.  It’s your right to ask.
  • Do not use the success of others to measure your own success. Every writing journey is different. EVERY one. Our careers are apples to oranges to pomegranates to fluffy kittens.
  • And last but not least: being a writer is hard. It’s going to hurt sometimes. It’s going to make you crazy and want to drink the Drain-O. But for every moment of that, you’ll get twelve seconds of pure awesome when you get a YES and it will blow your socks off. Those twelve seconds are worth every goddamned misery cocktail you gulped to get through the writer gauntlet.

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