Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Be A Writer

How To Be A Writer

From Roxane Gay is Spelled With One "N".
How to Be a Contemporary Writer:

1. Read diversely.

2. Write.

3. See items 1 and 2.

4. Accept that there is no one way to make it as a writer and that the definition of making it is fluid and tiered. 
. . . .
8. Be nice. The community is small and everyone talks. Being nice does not mean eating shit. Being nice does not mean kissing ass. Being nice just means treating others the way you would prefer to be treated. If you’re comfortable being treated like an asshole, then by all means.
. . . .
17a. You are neither as great or terrible a writer as you assume.

18. Know that sometimes you simply need to work harder and sometimes you’ve done the best you can do and there’s no shame in either.
. . . .
25. Ignore all of this as you see fit.
Read the rest here: How to Be a Contemporary Writer.

Or, as Robert Heinlein put it all those years ago:
Heinlein's Rules for Writing:
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
Today with the advent of indie publishing I think the fourth and fifth points could read:

4. You must publish your work when it is ready. If your story has not been professionally edited and formatted, if it does not have a professional looking cover, then it is not ready.

5. You must keep the work published even if your initial sales are disappointing. Experiment with different covers and with different prices and even with different pen names.

How do you think Heinlein would adapt his rules of writing to the world of indie publishing?

Thanks for reading!

Other articles you might like:
- 8 Ways To Become A Better Writer
- 99Designs.com: How I Solved My Book Cover Dilemma, and How You Can Too
- Jane Friedman: How To Build An Awesome Twitter Bio

Photo credit: Håkan Dahlström

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