Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fear of Success


Afraid of success? We can fix that.

Are you tired of succeeding in this writing game? Below is my tried-and-true 12-step method of making sure you don't get stuck working as a professional writer for the rest of your life.

1. Turn off grammar and spellcheck in your writing program. Spell words however the hell you want to spell them. It's your work. Be exprimental and break boundaries. Rules are for suckers.

2. Don't write more than two drafts of any particular work. More than two and you'll lose the magic. Be raw.

3. Disregard critical comments your critique group partners and beta readers make. It's all due to jealousy anyway.

4. List all the agents you've queried on your blog, and their response times, so other writers will know not to query agents who take too long.

5. When you query an agent and the agent declines to read a full or a partial, let her know what a golden opportunity she has missed out on. When you're famous, instant karma will get her.

6. If an agent does request a full, email him daily for updates. They like those continuous reminders.

7. Write lots of blog posts criticizing other authors. This will boost your own popularity. Be sure to attack these other authors for their personal beliefs; don't make it so much about the work. Everyone else comments about the work, so you
need to stand out.

8. You got an agent! My condolences. Be prepared to fight tooth and nail when she or the editor suggests "improvements" to your manuscript. It's your baby; don't let anyone mess with it.

9. You got a book deal! My condolences. Now take a few months off. You've earned it.

10. Quit your day job. The royalty money is going to start rolling in soon, so take out a loan to float you until then.

11. You can stop blogging now. All that hard work you did building your platform is finally over!

12. When you're published, respond to those 1-star Amazon reviews so potential readers will know those other guys just didn't get it.

And that's it! When my twelve-step method works for you, be sure to drop a comment in the section to say thank you. And you're welcome, by the way.

Jim Heskett is a writer of short fiction, long fiction, and the snarkiest blog posts in three states. You can currently find him slaving away at a laptop in an undisclosed location in Broomfield, Colorado. More details about current and future projects at JimHeskett.com


13 comments :

  1. Great piece, Jim. Someone out there, though, will almost certainly take your list as serious. In fact, come to think of it, obviously lots of them do! That's fine; it gives the rest of us a better chance!
    Thanks for making me smile first thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed, Stuart. Let's thin the herd a little

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  2. Hilariously accurate. You could add: contact every famous writer and ask them to tout your book. They love that stuff. And:contact editors and ask them if they'd mind giving it a quick once over for free, because the sheer joy of reading your book will pay for itself. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plus I forgot to mention: tweet links to your book no less than 275 times per day

      Delete
    2. Oh, no, Diana. You mustn't 'ask' them. You gotta tell 'em! After all, you're a genius and they need to know that upfront.

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  3. Another one: Don't pay any attention to the Submission Guidelines on publishers' or agents' websites. They don't really mean it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all know that guidelines are just there to weed out the amateurs, they're not there for professionals. And, let's face it, writers are artists, and what artist ever took any notice of the rules, eh?

      Delete
  4. When you query agents, make sure you do all of them at once in one email; just 'cc' everyone so they know who else you're submitting to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic. That encourages healthy competition between them. Hello bidding war!

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  5. Great idea, Terry! Why didn't I think of that. And I know almost all agents and editors love being referred to as Sir/Madam. A must-do! Snicker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, of course, by ensuring their email addresses are all sent out there, you'll provide them with all sorts of opportunities to enhance their sexual experiences, get involved in gambling and buy lots of ineffective supplements. They're all bound to be so grateful that they'll read your every word!

      Delete
  6. Fun post. Thanks for sharing your "wisdom" with us, Jim.

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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