Reading the blogs of other writers is something that most writers do – call it professional courtesy, an act of reciprocity or the opportunity to learn something from a peer – it’s part of the job.
When I first started reading the blogs of other writers it sometimes left me feeling a little confused.
Regardless of the topic (editing, publishing, marketing, style, habits, tips, techniques, etc.) it seemed that each blog was giving me different information. At first I wondered who I should believe. Writer “A” picks his editor according to price while writer “B” picks hers based on qualifications, and writer “C” doesn’t use an editor.
So who is right?
It took me a while to figure it out, but the answer is “D” – All of the above.
When it comes to writing, the only right way to do it is your way.
Okay…settle down…before you call me an idiot – let me finish…
When I say “your way is the right way” – it is not without qualification, and of course this caveat is strictly my opinion.
Quite simply, before you choose your methods and develop your habits you’ve got to ask yourself one question…
(How many of you were thinking “Do I feel lucky”?)
…well as cool as it is to quote Clint – that isn’t the question.
The question is – “Why are you writing?”
Is your goal to produce a cute children’s story that will only be read by your grandchild?
Do you want to eclipse JK Rowling in the “rags-to-riches” category?
Or are you looking for a Nobel Prize in Literature?
Before you answer – remember that your answer will determine your methods.
It’s sort of like me with golf.
I own a set of golf clubs…and I play once or twice a year…and, quite bluntly, I suck at it.
I’m sure I could improve if I practiced more or maybe took a few lessons, but I have no desire to be better. I’m happy with my golf game, such that it is.
Now if beating my brothers was important to me, I’d have to take appropriate measures to improve my game, but it isn’t, so I don’t.
I don’t mind that my brothers can destroy me on a golf course, and my brothers don’t seem to care that I can write books while they can’t.
So it’s all good.
Back to you and your methods…if you’re writing for fun, it’s okay if you don’t use an editor, or market your books aggressively or pay $500 for a cover design.
On the other hand, if you envision yourself sipping wine, and calling your agent from your yacht to discuss the terms of your big Hollywood movie deal – you may want to rethink your strategy.
It’s this simple – you will never get more out of writing than you are willing to put into it.
This is why I rarely offer advice on my blog. My methods are just that…my methods. They seem to be working for me…for now…
…your results may vary.
As always – thank you for reading