Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Six Things We Should Never Do As Writers

Writing is such a demanding job at times, which I think people just don’t understand. If you consider yourself as a business (which you should do if you want to make this your career) then you are the design, production, marketing and management teams all rolled into one. For an international selling business that is so much to do for one person. So it is no wonder why sometimes we all lose our heads and do things that perhaps we shouldn’t. Here are six things that some authors do when they are overworked / angry / for the hell of it which really they shouldn’t.

1.       Insult other authors

You would be surprised at the number of insults that sometimes I see flying between authors. Sometimes this is because personalities clash, other times because one author wants to do something that others feel is inappropriate. The one thing I would say is that if you insult another author, you are not acting professionally. I would say that it is no better than schoolyard bullying – which is unprofessional. This in turn will divert readers away from your work and could get them to buy from those you are insulting. If you don’t agree with someone that is okay – we all have our own opinions – but don’t lash out, just thank them for their comments and carry on / take their advice.

2.       Lie to your audience

This can be so easily linked to the above point, but it doesn’t have to be. Lying to your audience is a bad idea. It not only takes away your credibility but also your precious time. I know in theory most authors are telling lies for a career (story writing) but at least tell the truth when talking about other authors, books or what you are currently doing. If you lie too much not only will your nose grow, but your audience will just consider you are calling wolf and never listen to you again.

3.       Respond to Bad Reviews

A topic that almost deserves a blog post on its own, responding to reviews, any reviews, is a bad idea. Responding to bad reviews however serve no purpose. For one thing everyone is entitled to their opinion and to comment on their bad review (especially to tell them how they are wrong) is like taking that right away. Also readers just don’t like it and feel like you are big brother checking up on them, which they will remember next time your book is around.

4.       Rant on Facebook / Twitter

How many times have I seen this?! I’ve lost count. Remember that everything you produce online is viewable through the search engines. And if a reader finds a rant from you about such and such a reader not appreciating your finer points or even about bad reviews – you’ve created a negative impression to a potential reader and lost sales. Rants are for the bedroom wall if you must or can be emptied with a simple shrug and a half day crabbing / shooting / [insert favourite activity here].

5.       Rush

This is probably my biggest error. No-one is perfect (not an excuse I know). Sometimes I rush blog posts. Normally I get my blog posts to a beta reader to check for spelling, but that isn’t always an option. I will do a quick read but the only problem is that I find it hard to spot my own mistakes.

6.       Forget the real world

How many of us could actually spend the whole day logged into our facebook accounts? Locked on our books? Too many of us I am sure. The real world is inspirational – it can give you characters, plots and solutions to those pesky problems. So take a walk, go out for a day and get away from the computer and our work. (Yes okay I could be guilty of this too – but I do walk two hours a day).

Are there things that you think writers should not do? What do you think of this list? Comment below.

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  1. Rushing it probably my biggest error too, although I am trying to change that. I used to post my blog posts and then see them in my income mail box. Each time I immediately spotted a mistake. Since then I try to write the post, upload it and then let it rest for one day, read it again and publish it. This works best for me to spot errors :)

    1. Probably a very good policy.

      A lot of my posts are scheduled in now and I read them a couple of times - but I can't spot my own mistakes. even with a spellchecker and a beta reader - mistakes happen. If I had an endless money I would have an editor go through each one, but unfortunately I am not there yet. :)

      Thank you for you comments.