Monday, August 19, 2013

1 Piece of Advice 5 Ways

by Jemi Fraser

There is so much advice out there for aspiring writers it can sometimes be overwhelming. A lot of it can be boiled down to the same piece of advice given from different perspectives.

What's right for someone else may not be right for you
  • Social Media
  • There are about a bazillion options for social media interactions with more popping up all the time. You can't do them all - or at least I can't. You need to find which ones you enjoy and which ones make your skin itch. Pick and choose. Be selective. Don't join because 'everyone else is' or 'it works for everyone else'. It doesn't.

What's right for someone else may not be right for you
  • Genre
  • Write the stories you love. Write the ones in your heart. Of course you can keep a reasonable eye on the market and make some tweaks and twists, but if you're writing a genre you don't love, it will show. Don't worry about what's currently popular - by the time you're done and polished and ready to query that trend will probably be over. Create the next trend instead.

What's right for someone else may not be right for you
  • Style
  • Find your voice. Don't try to imitate your favourite authors. Be you. No one else can do it better. Warning: Finding your voice takes a lot of time and a lot of words. Be prepared.

What's right for someone else may not be right for you
  • Promotion
  • Don't piggyback on someone else's ideas. Sure, we all borrow bits and pieces, but find the promotion style that works for you. Decide what will work for you based on your comfort levels and your target audience.
  • PLEASE don't fall victim to The Opera Disease.

What's right for someone else may not be right for you
  • Your Journey
  • A crit buddy signs with an agent after only 10 queries. A fellow blogger started writing 2 years after you and has pubbed 4 books already. A friend gets a 3 book deal with a big pub...
  • Be happy & celebrate with them. Remember they're not you. Your Journey is uniquely You. Don't compare. Don't waste energy on jealousy (okay, go ahead, cry a bit and eat some Rolo ice cream. Then get over it). Your Journey is going exactly as it should be. Enjoy the journey because that IS the point.

Anything else you think that piece of advice might be good for?

Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of contemporary romance. She blogs and tweets while searching for those HEAs.


Old Kitty said...

Great advice, thanks Jemi! I know I'm repeating myself here again but attending a writer's course or even going the whole hog and reading for a writerly degree may help some - if only for the discipline and academic structure! Take care

JeffO said...

Great stuff, Jemi. I would also add "Process" to this list. You see so many people asking "How should I...", and so many people saying, "I do this..." What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your lead-in line sums it all up. We are each unique. How we write and our writing journey will be our own.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

One can only function on 2-3 social media sites before being spread too thin. I was on over 20 at the height of my YA book series and it was way too much.

Jemi Fraser said...

Old Kitty - so true! it's so important to learn along our journeys and take those opportunities as they arise!

Jeff - great one! I hope nobody ever tries to follow my process - it's more than a little terrifying! :)

Alex - we are indeed - thanks!

Diane - yikes! That's a lot - can't even imagine trying that! Glad you've found your balance!

Stephen Tremp said...

We just have tow rite write write and find our unique voice along the way.

Writing short stories is a great way to hone that skill. And I usually end up putting them into one of my books along the way.

Laura Marcella said...

So true! Every writer is an individual and so every writers' journey will be different. There's no one way or right way to achieve your goals!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Jemi Fraser said...

Stephen - I agree. The more we write, the more we find our unique voice! I've got to try these shorts one of these days! :)

Laura - exactly! We'll each find ways to our own types of success - and it'll all be great!

Sophie Perinot said...

Jeff is dead right about process. Most of my friends are "dump it all out" first-drafters (quick, dirty, edit later) whereas I am ponderously slow but my first drafts are nearly ready for an audience.

My addition would be "Your Publishing Choices" -- writers have more avenues than ever to reach the reading public. I hate it when we snipe at eac hother and judge each other's choices in this area. What's right for somebody else might not be right for you.

Theresa Milstein said...

I like your idea about not writing for the perceived market. It's always 2 years different than what we're seeing on the shelves anyway.

cleemckenziebooks said...

Right on, Jemi! Do it your way.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sophie - yes! Publishing Options should definitely be on the list - so many paths, so many choices!

Theresa - exactly! Especially when pursuing traditional publishing, it's impossible to write to trends!

Lee - thanks! :)

Yolanda Renee said...

Great advice Jemi! Be you all the way through!

Shelley Sly said...

Amen to this! :D We're all different, which is what makes it so fun to be a reader and writer -- no one's book, style, process, or journey is the same.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Yolanda!

Shelley - I laughed at your post today - very similar. Our brains must be in sync!! :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great advice. A few years ago I tried to participate in all kinds of social media but now I narrowed it to about three things and an occasional tweet.

SC Author said...

This really is fantastic advice, and so applicable in so many angles. Thank you!

Jemi Fraser said...

Susan - I've limited my social media time too - it can consume you if you're not careful!

SC - thanks! Glad I could help! :)

Kelly Polark said...

Love this!
And the Opera Disease cracks me up! ME ME ME ME! :)
Great post, Jemi!

Jemi Fraser said...

Kelly - thanks! My dad cracked me up with that one! :)

DMS said...

This is so cool! You did a great job showing how the same advice can be taken different ways. The most important thing is to make sure we are doing what works for us- in all areas. :)

Thanks for sharing.

Jemi Fraser said...

Jess - thank you! I agree - finding our own way is so important!! :)

michelle said...

It encourages each one of us to embrace our individuality as writers!
Each one has a different writing journey, with a distinct set of highs and lows peculiar to the particular individual, which actually makes it exciting!!
Writer In Transit

Medeia Sharif said...

Many years ago I would imitate other people's styles. It didn't work for me. We have to do what's right for us.

Jemi Fraser said...

Michelle - thank you! It really does make it exciting :)

Medeia - we really do! I think many of us do it without realizing it at the beginning, but if you write enough words you find your own voice!

Tara Tyler said...

great advice! everyones journey is unique!

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Tara - we really have to find our own paths! :)

Deniz Bevan said...

A great post!
The journey differences is something I have to remind myself about often. Best not to compare ourselves to others at all!

Jemi Fraser said...

Deniz - exactly!! We've got our own paths to find and follow :)

Sandra Cox said...

'Your journey is uniquely you.' Perfect.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Sandra! :)