Monday, January 26, 2009

Writing is being proactive

This will be a short post but very important.

Writers that are successful are proactive. I am not just talking about their agressiveness in terms of marketing their work to editors and agents, I am talking about their dealings with the craft in general.

These writers know how to search out what they need to be successful. It may be a new class, it may be researching a new style. The key is that they go out and make the changes happen for them. They don't just wait for it to happen.

And yes, when they are finally into the publishing loop, they become agressive by always finding new ways to keep their writing fresh.

How agressive are you?


  1. That absolutely made me smile, because not only is it good for writing, but it's good for all walks of life.

    Thanks Scott.

  2. All right, all right, I know you speak the truth. I will drag my sorry bum to one more conference, at least in my state. But in my experience, if the query is halfway literate, (English major here) the agents do read them, and will often send a personal letter to boot. I have had two near misses with top agencies, and got very useful letters, so will keep plugging along. Repeat after me; "Competition pushes everyone up." Sigh. Long haul blues getting to me, I fear. Must be the brutal midwestern winter.

  3. Anon,

    The thing about conferences is that you have to pick and chose where you go. Sure they cost money but if you pick the right ones, you do well.

    I know that there are some conferences that I just don't attend. Not that the conference is bad, but I simply know that I won't see anything that I am personally looking for. The conference just draws a group of writers and styles that I don't acquire.

    As far as the query goes, you are right, if the query is good, we will read it, but I am finding more often than not, that the request for a manuscript is often out of kindness and not so much out of a desire for that project.

    Of course that is in my humble opinion.


  4. This one hits home for me because I had to really go outside my comfort zone to solve a problem.

    I've always written in third person. Last year, I was having a hard time settling on viewpoint for my book. I was wavering between my third and first (being that's the most common viewpoint in the genre). On a hunch, I took a viewpoint workshop where we took the same scene and rewrote over and over in the different viewpoints.

    After doing the omniscient one, I started to think about it and how it might apply to the book. I thought about reasons why someone might use it versus third or first, and I began to realize that it was the direction the book needed to go. And the story really started to come together in a way it hadn't under the other two viewpoints.

    The next one is likely to be in first person. I generally don't care much for first (just have seen way too much of it lately) and have only written one thing in first, many years ago. But I'm listening to the story, and first looks like the direction it wants to go.