As aspiring writers, when we begin our journey of writing and publishing that first novel, we tend to look up to others who have more experience and are willing to share that knowledge. And this can be a good thing except that in today’s world of writing and publishing, there are a lot of people willing promote themselves as professional authors, and yet they know very little about it.
There are many discussion groups that are filled with conversations on how to write, when to write, where to write and why to write. And there’s even more on how to publish and what techniques to use, publishing companies that are inexpensive or free and which ones to avoid. After a while, our minds get cluttered with the many opinions and attitudes of others.
What to do?
What we DO is strive to be like other successful authors and we follow their example, heed to their suggestions and adhere to their advice. What we DO NOT do is get drawn in by other aspiring writers who are still trying to make it themselves and whose lack of knowledge and experience has led them to become disgruntled about the writing and publishing business.
We need to find discussions groups where successful authors are giving suggestions and advice, and we need to avoid the ones where anyone and everyone gives their opinion in a way that encourages a negative attitude. My experience tells me that there are a lot more wanna bees willing to share their negative experiences than there are well-educated and successful writers who are willing to share their unique knowledge.
We need to be adamenant in our research and learn the pro’s and con’s to publishing traditionally as opposed to self-publishing or indie publishing. We need to know what our own goals are and then go with the publishing method that suits us. If I’m writing a family cookbook and my goal is to get it “published” and disperse it only to my family and friends, then self-publishing is ideal. But if I want to become a recognized author with books being sold all over the world, I need to find a more professional approach to publishing, one that promotes my book within the book market on a professional level.
Advice is great and we all need it but we need to be careful where that advice comes from. If we want to be a great author then we need to follow other great authors. If we just want to see our name on a book cover, then we should follow other writers who share the same goal.
The student is only as great as the teacher, so choosing our peers wisely when searching for advice is one of the most critical decisions that we’ll make in our writing career.
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