Monday, February 20, 2012
The Unwritten Rules of Writing-4 Things You Should Know!
When it comes to the writing life, advice abounds.
To illustrate my point, a recent Google search of the term “writing advice” produced over 800,000 entries.
There’s no disputing that some of what’s available is enriching and inspiring for writers of all levels and genres. Between books and online resources, there’s a wealth of wisdom to be had.
Still, it’s the “unwritten rules” that can keep you out of the game. In this business, ignorance is not bliss. What you don’t know can indeed hurt you.
With this in mind, here are four (undisclosed) cardinal rules about the writing life.
1. A contract is not necessarily “gospel”.
How many times have you heard, “Get it in writing?” In theory, contractual agreements serve to protect all parties involved and outline in black and white conditions, payment terms to be honored, and designated due dates.
Expecting payment on the 15th of each month? Don’t be surprised if on the 20th, when you make a follow-up call to the A.P. department of your favorite publication, you’re told, “The check is in the mail.” In writing, as in life, “stuff happens.”
2. Talent is only part of the “success equation”.
If you thought you left politics behind when you left corporate America, think again. Editors, like bosses, have “favorites”. And though personal relationships and alliances should not compromise their judgment, sometimes their “pen pals“ get better assignments or more of them. Or they may be privy to “inside info.” Knowing this, you have two choices in times ahead: deal with it, or become one of them.
3. No matter how much advice you get, some things you’ll have to experience first-hand before you actually “get it“ and appreciate it.
Things like sacrifice and perseverance. It’s kinda’ like parenting. As I reflect on my many years as a scribe, in fact, the words of Charles Dickens come to mind, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
4. To stay grounded and stay in the black, you must learn to be your own worst critic and your biggest fan. It provides an important balance.
Confidence is needed to be able to withstand repeated rejection and scrutiny. While objectivity is needed to receive fewer rejections and to operate from a position of strength.
Equipped with these insider’s tips, you’ll be on the fast track to success, (minus the stress).
Any of these rules resonate with you?