Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When Your Car is Broken, Do You Take It To A Plummer? How About Your Writing?

I have always used that idea when talking about getting feedback for your writing. If your car is broken, who do you take it to? An electrician? A plummer? I would hope it is a mechanic! But we can also extend this argument a bit further. Do you take it to any mechanic? Would you take it to Cousin Ricky with his three Camero's up on blocks in the front yard? Probably not! You take it to someone who knows.

When it comes to your writing, it is beyond crucial to get feedback for your work. Any feedback you get is great! But, with that said, when it comes to really going over your story, you need to take it to the specialists. You have to take it to people who really know what they are doing. If you need grammatical work, then take it to someone who knows the grammar and doesn't just claim they have a Strunk and White Manual on their desk. This person really needs to know what the heck they are talking about.

When you want publishing advice, you have to work with someone who truly understands the system and how things work. In other words, if they have only "published" their books using their local copy center and then sell the books on their website and the local writing conferences, this might not be the person you want to consider.

I should also add that this same rule applies when it comes to attending workshops at conferences. Really check the credentials of the person teaching the session. The title of the session might be great, but does the person really know what they are talking about.

The reverse of this idea is also true. As someone in the writing community, you have to know your own limits and know what advice you can give and what advice you have to also provide a word of caution on. For myself, I specialize in romance and women's fiction. These are areas I have taken the time to study and know. Still, I have people who come to me with questions regarding non-fiction or children's books. I can give them some advice, but I will always steer them toward those people who really understand that market better.

Again, this is just one of those posts that the big message is to simply THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!

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