Thursday, March 23, 2006

Exposing Yourself.

And no, I don't mean it that way. I mean "getting out there" in the Literary World, so to speak.

When you are a writer, contrary to common belief, it's not as if you can sit behind a desk and crank out novels and watch them climb the charts while you hunker down safely in the comfort of your own home. Writing is an ACTION verb. You must be out promoting your book, and actively at that. Publicity, book signings, appearances, etc. Writing is not for hermits, in general.

You also need to surround yourself with people who write, who can give you HONEST feedback. The best friend I ever had, completely crucified my novel, pointing out every historical error I had made. (And there were more than a few!) After I got over my thin-skinned self, I realized that she had done me a great service. She felt comfortable in our friendship--comfortable enough to give me honest feedback, rather than polite and encouraging feedback, which was what I always got from my mother, sister, etc.

The key is this, if you want praise, get feedback from your family. If you want the truth, give it to your good friends, or your writer's group, whether it be online or at the local coffee shop every week. Feedback is VITAL to success in writing. None of us are equipped with perfect abilities by ourselves, we need to open our eyes and expose ourselves to society in the sense that we need to know what's going on out there, and the niche our writing would fit into.

This isn't the 1800's. We live in a fast-paced, commercial world, and we need to write and ACT accordingly. It's a tough business. The faint-of-heart (and hermits too) need not apply.


At 7:31 PM, Blogger Three AM Writer said...

I beg to differ, writers can be hermits and sucessful. In fact, it sort of gives them a aura of mystery. Cormac McCarthy rarely makes a public appearance (asides the occasional threat to shoot anyone who sets foot near his property) and he seems to do pretty well.


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