Often, I’ll read publishing tips, and then read the complete opposite in a writing tip. Sometimes it’s kind of funny, but other times it becomes, well…let’s say, frustrating.
I guess what can be annoying is when people throw writing tips when you got a rejection or didn’t get into a contest. One doesn’t really match up to the other, so it just gets most writers angrier instead of helping.
What do I mean by that? Well, here are a few examples of opposites:
Writing: “Write what you want!”
Publishing: “Check the market because if you write in a genre that’s oversaturated, you probably won’t get published.”
Me: “So, don’t really write what you want if your dream is to get published. Check out what’s popular, then write in that category and genre, or hope that you’re brilliant enough that the market trend won’t matter.”
Writing: “Pay attention to critiques, but remember that in the end, it’s your story.”
Publishing: “Careful about trends, and make sure you read all the other stories in your genre so that you can compare to what’s actually being published.”
Me: “Listen to the critiques and change your whole story if you want it to fit in with market trends – especially if you haven’t been published yet.”
Writing: “Just write your story!”
Publishing: “Ten things agents and publishers don’t want to see anymore:”
Me: “I see so many of these that I wouldn’t even be able to list them all. So be sure to read up on all of them before you write your story or revision might be a bitch!”
Writing: “It only takes one yes.”
Publishing: “Read a query – exciting, but the genre isn’t good in the market right now – pass.”
Me: “True, but it might never be for that manuscript you worked so hard on.”
Writing: “There aren’t any wins or loses in writing contests.”
Publishing: “Check out all these fabulous entries who got in – they’re all so amazing!”
Me: “We all win something by entering these contests, but in the end, there are writers who are picked and those who aren’t. I’m not from that generation that had to be given medals just for participating, so I know that there are winners and others who aren’t (though I’ve never liked using the word ‘loser’ either).”
Writing: “Authors are writers who never gave up.”
Publishing: “The manuscript didn’t really get me excited, but feel free to send us other works.”
Me: “Don’t give up, but maybe give up that particular manuscript you’ve worked so hard on. Please try again.”
Ok, so I think you get the gist of it by now. Some of these may be a little over the top, but they’re basically there to show examples.
Now, don’t get me wrong: publishing is hard, and I seriously bow down to agents and publishers! They do great work, and let’s face it, this industry is so subjective! But that’s not the point of my blog – I’m not here to bash publishing in any way! My point is just that, when you read that a writer is feeling down about not getting published, sometimes, offering writing tips isn’t the best of things to do – try more for publishing info instead 😉
Do you have examples on a writing tip you read that didn’t match up with publishing tips? I’d love you to share them! 🙂