Lately, I’ve seen some posts and memes about writing and publishing that have genuinely set my blood boiling. I have seen authors get all stirred up about things that ultimately showed, in my opinion, a fundamental misunderstanding of the publishing industry, while other things, that I feel are vitally important to the industry, continue to get ignored.
I was all set to type out a well-researched and utterly eviscerating rebuttal. Bar graphs and diagrams might have been incorporated. I was going to channel Alexander Hamilton (the original and Broadway versions), Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, and possibly Che Guevara. Maybe a little Adam Smith thrown in for good measure.
Seriously, guys. I was on fire.
Fortunately, I came to my senses before subjecting you to that. Hopping into a phone booth and donning my superhero rantypants is more like eating a bucket of M&M’s: initially pleasurable, but ultimately a bit sickening. As the meme so eloquently states, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
Besides, I’ve talked at you enough in my time here as a columnist. Today, I want to hear from you.
I’m going to ask you the same questions I ask all my clients. They are, as follows:
- How long have you been writing?
- What genre would you say you write?
- Have you taken classes or received instruction for creative writing? What did you enjoy, and what did you dislike?
- What are some of your favorite writing reference books?
- What do you think is the biggest problem you need help with in your writing?
- What are your writing goals for the next 12 months? What are your ultimate goals for your writing career?
I ask these questions to gauge where writers are in their journey, from squeaky-new to seasoned pro. I also get a sense of how they learn, where their interests are, what their strengths are, and what their stumbling blocks are.
Since I’m being nosy enough to quiz you, I’ll turn it around. In exchange, you can ask me anything.
I’ve been in the industry, working with traditional publishers and self-publishing, for the past seventeen years. I’ve also worked as a publicist, editor, and coach. If you’ve got craft questions, marketing questions, publishing questions, whatever… I’ll field them, or point you in the right direction to get the answers you need. I may even make future non-ranty blog posts about them, if there’s enough discussion. :)
So what’s on your mind, gang? No holds barred. Let’s get a little crazy, let our writers’ hair down, and get to know each other a little better.