Now, not all of the advice in the article was bad, I'll give it that. Some of it, however, was really just the typical, grumpy "I don't like this personally so everyone should stop just to please me" garbage that so many of these articles turn out to be. Because I'm not yet in the mood to deal with bigger stuff, I'm going to waste my time picking apart this article.
Let's turn to the first thing that the article believes all writers should stop doing in 2017:
I'm happy when something good happens to fellow writers. Seriously. We're all screaming for attention, and when someone gets it, I'm truly happy for them. I'm not happy that maybe you sold something to a great editor but there is no contract yet and maybe you didn't. Screw all that. The only thing sadder than fake news is no news. Announce things once you can share the details and we'll celebrate together. Until then, don't. Seriously, what am I supposed to do with this vague probability? Kinda be somewhat glad it may have happened? Mildly excited about the possibility of reading something that may or may not be up my alley at some unknown point in the future? Stop vaguebooking. And yes, hip vaguebooking that is very aware of what it is still counts as vaguebooking.
I know 80% of the authors reading this have never done this, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't tell the other 20% to cut out that nonsense. You've seen them, putting words like "Exciting!" and phrases like "The best book I've read this year!" on their posts without attribution. Listen, maybe it's the journalist in me, but I need attribution and proof at all times. Stop making awful infomercial phrases to slap on your book posts. Get some real blurbs and use those. If Stephen King says your book is "not entirely awful," his name alone will sell more books that the ghost of all your insecurities and that blurb that compared your writing to half a dozen literary giants. Cut it out.
Complaining about editing
If you really hate editing that much, maybe the writing thing is not for you. You write, you revise, and you edit. Then, most of the time, you do it all over again. Taking editing seriously and considering it a crucial part of the process is the difference between clean, tight prose that commands attention and the kind of forgettable book that contains two typos and a misspelled word in the first three pages. No one finds your crying about editing funny or cute. Your eyes are tired? Get back to it tomorrow. And if they are so tired, maybe coming to Facebook is not the brightest idea.
I bet that nurses who love their jobs are less than thrilled with the cleaning up other people's shit constantly. Just because they don't like that part of the job doesn't mean they're not meant to be nurses. I mean, come on, do be sensible. It really wouldn't be work if there wasn't something about the task that was tedious, irritating or upsetting. That's life.
Let people complain. It does a couple of things - it lets their readership know that they're close to a new book from an author whose work they like, and it lets readers know that authors are human beings and the writing thing is hard.
Writing isn't always magical rainbows and brilliant flashes of inspiration. I don't think we should be presenting it as such.
Constant invitations and reminders to digital book releases in Timbuktu
Here's how it should go: your book comes out, you tell people about it in an exciting/thankful post, and then, over the course of a few weeks, share a few reviews and the link to your book a couple of times. Stop inviting me to a "release party" on a fucking Tuesday at 8:00am. I'm not going. No one is going. It's not really an event. It doesn't make me want to buy your book. It's not fun and I hate getting seventeen reminders.
And the best thing about it being digital, is that even if it is in Timuktu, people in Alaska can attend... provided they have internet, of course. It brings people into a celebration that would love to attend but wouldn't be able to otherwise.
Wanna know what else is great about a digital release party? You don't have to attend if you don't want to. You just decline the invitation, walk away from the computer, or close that tab. No big deal.
If I ever shared a word count post, it would go something like this: "Wrote 2,000 words today. I will probably delete 1,800 of them tomorrow. Some ideas haven't fully coagulated yet. Actually, I'm kinda angry at my performance today. I hate myself right now. I think I hate this story, but I can't stop writing it. It's the damn voices. Anyway, like I said on Twitter yesterday, being a writer is like standing alone in the rain while kicking water uphill and screaming 'Why are you making me do this? Pay attention to me!' Hope it goes better tomorrow. I wonder if these words will ever see the light of day..." Sure, your posts are not like that, but they convey the same information. You're a writer and you wrote some words, so what? You want a fucking sticker or something? Go work.
I'm not asking for a sticker.
What I am doing is holding myself accountable to myself and my readership. Sometimes I make my writing goal, sometimes I don't. That's not the point of the sharing. What is the point is the accountability.
And with so many fans complaining that they don't think they're favourite series is actually getting written, perhaps sharing the fact that you're working, and that there is progress is not such a bad thing, hm?
Hating on other genres and successful authors
Oh, you think hardcore horror sucks? That's great. Don't read it. Think every adult who reads YA is an idiot? In the famous words of The Dude, "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." There is a long list of successful authors I'd love to punch in the face and a long list of authors who I don't dislike but feel do not deserve their massive success. However, I know that I'm a petty, hateful human, so I take measures and ensure that the time and effort I spend online are focused on positive things like sharing authors I love and trying to help other authors make it our of the dark hole of anonymity. Ultimately, focusing on spreading hate just makes you less likeable and makes you sound bitter. Oh, I'm not saying you shouldn't be bitter, just that maybe hitting your potential readers constantly with that might not be the best strategy. Tell us about cool stuff you dig and everyone will be happier. (NOTE: this doesn't apply to authors who, like Max Booth II, Keith Rawson and yours truly, also wear reviewer hats regularly.)
#If #reading #this #hurts #your #brain, #please #know #that #the #same #goes #for #your #boring #blessed #author #writing# writinglife #amwriting #amediting #coffeeandwriting #post. Stop. Abusing. Hashtags.
Self deprecating/angry plugs
Listen, you worked hard on your book and finally got it published. That's great. Tell me about the plot and some elements you think might interest me. That's how you get me to click on a link. These "this blows but you should read it anyway" and "buy my damn book right now, you maggots!" posts do the exact opposite. I'm sure self-deprecation was refreshing when no one had done it before, but now it's nothing more than a sad joke. "I'm a hack, but buy my book anyway" or "Just buy my book already!" don't work. Those posts aren't humorous or interesting or unique or witty. Stop writing them. They only contribute to making the rest of us hate you as much as you say you hate yourself.
You're writing a story. We'd love to read it once it's done. We don't need to know that today you wrote a short scene in which the main character gets hit by a car and then kisses her boyfriend. If you put the whole thing up in chunks, why would I be interested in reading it once it's published? Just stop.
When I put up that I've made my writing goal, I usually include a small snippet of something I've written that day. You know what? It's worked out pretty well for me. One of the people who has followed my page said that my little snippets that I posted while writing Daughters of Britain is what drew him to my page. He's since become an incredible supporter and I always enjoy our online interactions.
I also note that a character has been killed. I don't name the character, nor do I reveal the circumstances of their death, but I let people know that things are happening in my story.
Doing so, as I've said, has worked out.
That said, if someone is revealing everything about their story, then yeah, I totally get this, but little teases can actually be really awesome!
So, what do you think? Was the writer of the article right? Are there things you vehemently agree with or disagree with? Let me know in the comments below!
For now, I have work to do.