"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unrealistic Expectations and The Unsavvy Writer






Would you feel confident having a surgeon to perform a major operation if you found out that you were his first procedure?

Would you hire a wedding planner who had never coordinated an event before your "big day"?

Probably not.

Yet I'm amazed in my role as a writing coach and former senior editor, at how many newbies and "aspiring writers" feel that they inspire confidence from potential publishers, and should be compensated handsomely for their work.

They want to bypass the development stage and land major clients right away.
Some even consider it beneath them to write for free.

Huh?

There's no such thing as an overnight success in this business. Many of the well known authors and established writers you read online toiled many years, studied their craft, and paid their dues before receiving the visibility and following they enjoy today. And it shows in the quality of their work.

Now it seems that far too many folks are declaring themselves as "writers" without any training, track record, or in some cases, (I hate to say it) true talent.

Sure, the occupation is a seductive one. Often it's even glamorized. Not to mention, the advent of the Internet makes it within hand's reach of anyone with minimal computer skills.

As such, people love to see their name in print and claim their "15 minutes of fame."

But, unless you want to be a "one hit wonder," it would behoove you to take the time to tend to some of the basics of the industry like grammar, spelling, sentence structure, Internet savvy, business management, research, marketing and the stuff that "true writers" are made of.

You owe it to yourself and your readers.

That's my take on the topic. What's yours?

6 comments:

  1. Even after you're established, you have to continue to write and hone your craft. You will still write for free although those projects will become fewer; it will still be done.

    And, if you're not disciplined and tenacious, the writing life is not for you. There will be a lot of disappointments and changes, but you have to adjust keep on going.

    I know the truth hurts, but so is fooling yourself for thinking you can get paid without paying your dues.

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  2. Thanks for your input, Marcie. Your thoughts are appreciated. Well said!

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  3. Jennifer, I'm so impressed with your new blog and the great message you gave on the importance of being first a good writer, which can then lead to becoming a great writer. You ought to know, because you are one of the best! Keep up the good work. Bonita Bennett, Publisher, Being Single Magazine.

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  4. Thanks, Bonita!

    You have been a joy to work with and learn from for 15 years!

    I owe my (real) start to you, for which I am forever grateful. If I am "one of the best" it's because I've learned from one of the best!

    On a side note... READERS,PICK UP YOUR COPY OF BEING SINGLE MAGAZINE AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE OR MAGAZINE STAND AND DISCOVER WHAT "THE BUZZ" IS ABOUT!

    If they don't have it ask them why not?

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  5. Great advice!

    Writers who don't take time to hone the craft of writing are like Olympic hopefuls who are nothing more than couch potatoes.

    Work it, baby. Work it!

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  6. Excellent point! I love that simile reference.:-)

    You work it too! Whoever you are.:-)

    I'm declaring 2010 my year to "work it" with a vengeance.

    Thanks for your support. Be well.

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