Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Enthusiasm of New Puppies, er, Writers

You'd think with the indie publishing revolution that writers would give up on finding the ULTIMATE TRUTH. You know, that secret recipe or spell that would GUARANTEE a writer's success.

Now I'm seeing the reverse of the ULTIMATE TRUTH. Instead of hanging on every word that drips from the mouth of the experienced writer (or agent or editor, too, for that matter), there's condemnation from the new writer. As in, "How dare she?!"

1) Writer like to talk.

We do. We get excited by a story idea or a publishing process. Even the most introverted writers want to share this cool, new "whatever" they discovered because it's cool and new to THEM.

2) The cool, new thing has nothing to do with you.

This one comes in three flavors. The first is the slightly jaded writer who makes a disgusted sound and says, "Everyone knows that." Um, no, everyone does not know. That's why new writer is so freakin' excited. She learned something cool and new TO HER.

The second flavor is the author who says, "That doesn't work!", which really means it did not work for HER. Just because something doesn't work for author X doesn't mean it won't work for author Y.

The third version is author X saying, "How dare you tell me what to do!" Except ninety-nine percent of the time, the author Y isn't telling anyone what to do. She's just so freakin' excited that she can't stop talking about the cool, new discovery.

In all three versions, what writer Y is saying doesn't have a damn thing to do with writer Y. Yet, I see the Y writers get angry with the X writers because they believe the X writers are telling them what to do. Generally speaking, no, the X writers aren't. They're just so excited that they want to share.

3) Learning when to say something.

So many Y writers think that they have warn/protect/care for X writers.

No, they don't. Let them talk. Let the X writers get it out of their system. As long as they aren't endangering themselves or others (as in, dismemberment or death), nod sagely and say, "Uh, huh," every once in a while, just like you do with your significant other.

There are two exceptions.

One is dealing with scam publishers like Author Solutions and its subsidiaries. But also understand that even in this situation, the X writer may not listen to the Y writer.

The second is if the X writer asks the Y writer. Again, the Y writer must understand the X writer probably won't listen this time either. And that's okay!

In both cases, again, it's not about the Y writer. Arguing with the X writer won't get Y anywhere.

So what's the Y writer to do? Listen. You never know. Maybe the X writer really does have a cool, new idea that will work for you.

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