Sunday, February 17, 2008

Career Killers

Ten of the top ways to kill your writing career (or at least not have an editor read your stuff.)

1. Mis-spell the editor's name. (They are people and they want to know you did your research.)

2. Tell the editor what a mistake it would be to reject your project. (Scares them off right away.)

3. Fail to follow the guidelines for that publisher, editor, agent. (They want to know that you can follow instructions and that you care. Being too busy to read the guidelines or saying your other publisher did it that way, won't cut it.)

4. Leaving out a piece the editor, agent requested. (Just because you hate writing synopses and think your story should stand on it's own, don't leave it out. We're back to the business of following instructions and reading English.)

5. Bashing one publishing company to another editor. (Just as bad as bashing a former boss to a potential poss. Sounds like you are the problem.)

6. Typos-careless.

7. Sloppy manuscript, left out pages, messed up page numbering, margins and formatting that are not standard to the industry. (Making your manuscript stand out as one from an amateur will not help your career.)

8. Bad-mouthing other writers, or ignoring them. (You need networking. When writers work together to sell their work, wonderful things happen.)

9. Ignoring electronic media (Take the risk and put yourself out there, make that facebook site, web site, blog, My Space (You have to sell yourself. It's called marketing.)

10. Failing to continue learning and evolving your writing. Stretch your boundries and writing muscles. Try new things, new publishers, new publishing formats. (New York is not the only game out there.)

What is your worst writing mistake? Share with everyone by posting a comment.


daydream said...

I agree on everything on the list. So far I respect all authors except one, but I won't badmouth him. It would be too bad. I already did in my blog a bit and it's a sin.

I am just curious how the media works that much. I have to juf=ggle several sites and it's definitely time consuming. A stretgy you can suggest here please?

Carol said...

You know, I don't have a wonderful idea. The key is driving traffic to your sites, the more traffic, the more your name is out there, the better chance of someone buying. It does take lots of time and between writing, working(or school), family and outside activities, it's hard to keep up with. Markets is time consuming and takes time.

daydream said...

I agree. I was just wondering whether the magical wave of a wand was out there, but no I guess it always has to be hard way. Sorry for the appaling grammar back in the comment. I was in a hurry and hit the send button before proofreading. Ack!

Destiny Blaine said...

Hi Carol,

Love the post! My worst writing mistake would probably be that I waited until my "thirties" to pursue writing as a career option. Of course, some might say it wasn't a mistake. As writers, we have more options than ever before!

Thanks for the great blog topic!


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