Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why writers make bad decisions

At RWA a few months ago Sylvia Day gave a keynote speech entitled, “Dream Big. Plan Smart.”
She began by listing the changes to the industry over the past decade. Most writers can recite a list of publishers who’ve failed or quit, and of authors caught in the middle. She also pointed out something that I think is vital.
Writing is a business. Authors need to treat their writing as professionals. That means the decisions an author makes need to be done with her head. An author writes with her heart, but she needs to manage her business with her head.
Then she gave three reasons why writers make bad decisions. (The key points are hers. The examples and explanations are mine.)

1. They’re afraid of failing, of success, and of making changes. The world is continually changing and authors need to accept that. I don’t care if your second grade teacher told you good handwriting would get you anywhere. I guarantee that if you send in a handwritten manuscript it’ll be rejected.

2. Writers want everyone to like them and their book. No matter what you write someone is going to hate it. Write what you want to write.

3. If you write good books and learn from your mistakes you’ll bounce back every time. There’s more than one way to WRITE a book (plotting, pantsing etc). There’s more than one way to PUBLISH a book (print, digital, audio, indi etc).

She closed with, “Dream big. There is no dream too big. Read often. Write well. And plan smart.”
That’s excellent advice.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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