Get a Grip (some) People!

Writing is a lonely business. For must of us, while we’re working on our opus, there’s no team of coworkers providing support. There’s not even anyone in the room, or if there is, they’re either involved with their own venti latte or trying to distract you because they just thought of something you need to do for them and writing, hey, so cute that you do that but it’s not really important anyway. There’s also no boring meetings with that person who can’t freaking shut up already so we can get to work, which is a godamn mercy if you ask me.

We’re introverts, a lot of us writer types, with the known-to-me exception of Victoria Dahl. I’m pretty sure she’s an extrovert. The rest of us can only aspire.

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the solitary drama of your writing that you loose touch with certain realities of the Real Writing World.

Here’s a handy reference list:

Your way is NOT the only way to write a novel. It’s the one that works for you, so you need to hold that precious to you, but you can’t go around telling other writers that their way is wrong. If you’re doing that, stop. All you can legitimately do is offer your experiences about your process and why your way works for you.

Your experience with people is driven at least in part by the way you act and react to them. Free advice: if you have been going through life thinking the most other people are mean nasty and ignorant (especially if more than a few people have suggested you are rude (the nerve of them!) it’s time to take a look in the mirror or at your emails and tweets and what have you and ask whether you might be the cause of this reaction. Really. You might be acting like an asshole more than you should be.

Actually, your book IS different. In that it is the book that YOU wrote and not the book someone else wrote. But it isn’t necessarily special just because you wrote it. Maybe it is. But maybe you should listen to outside opinion, too. (I said LISTEN not accept, OK? — though if you actually listen, you might end up accepting some of that opinion.)

Agents and editors aren’t going to steal your story. Seriously.

There is no conspiracy against your writing. There is, however, the quality of your writing. If all you get are curt form rejections your writing is probably not of high enough quality yet. For published writers, there is only the conspiracy of your sales history.

The vast majority of readers don’t pirate books. Quit acting like they do.

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One Response to “Get a Grip (some) People!”

  1. MF Makichen says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    What I find most tantalizing is not the post itself, but the events that must have led to it being written I can only imagine!