IWSG: Pitfalls

It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Posts go up the first Wednesday of each month. Read more posts and/or join in here.

Right now I’m insecure about 1. finishing this novel, and 2. giving a presentation at the local library this coming November. I know that’s a long time away yet, but I’ll be talking about writing and publishing for NaNoWriMo participants, which is why this month’s question is quite appropriate:

What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

There are so many! For one, don’t read too many how-to books on writing. You’ll get so worried about doing it wrong that you won’t do it at all. Also, don’t start querying the moment you finish your draft. You think you’re done—you so want to be, because you’ve been working so hard for so long—but you aren’t, not nearly. Much revision will be required! Don’t believe your baby has been born ready to walk and talk because it hasn’t. You’ve still got to raise it. Finally, be super selective about who you query. Do your research. It’s so exciting to get that nibble—or better yet, an offer! But not all [agents, publishers, offers] are created equal. So don’t celebrate until you’re sure.

Published by

M

Writer/Screenwriter

4 thoughts on “IWSG: Pitfalls”

  1. Best of luck with your presentation in November. Me, I love my craft books. From each one, I’ve found at least one little glittering nugget of writerly advice that has helped improve my writing.
    Wishing you happy writing in August.

    1. That’s fine for people who can sift through all the info and find what works for them. But in my experience, when coaching new writers, many don’t have the discernment to figure out what to keep and what to toss when it comes to advice. They think they have to take it ALL and then they freeze up and can’t write a thing.

  2. Oh well, I knocked my mouse sideways, and my comment disappeared! Reprise: About those writing self-help books, please consider TONE. If the writer tells me ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that,’ sometimes I just ‘don’t’ write. Two authors I’ve found helpful are James Scott Bell (JUST WRITE, reading and working through this one right now), and Elizabeth Lyon (MANUSCRIPT MAKEOVER, her editing checklists are invaluable). I also like the monthly hits of inspiration and craft from THE WRITER and WRITER’S DIGEST, because I want to keep learning the craft as well as telling stories. Also, re that upcoming presentation at the library (such a welcoming place), please know that the folks coming to hear you are there because they want to benefit from your experience. They need you! So share and have fun. Invite them to talk about what they’ve learned (if they’ve participated in NaNoWriMo). And maybe write about your experience in an upcoming blog!

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