Let’s assume that we still write the way we were taught in the old days at our writing schools. The word was express yourselves, be true to yourselves, and whatever you do, don’t write for the money. To be absolutely sure you are true to yourself, you write only about what you honestly believe. You write without undue pressure to succeed. Yes, you might even get a real job and write only as a hobby.
Today if you follow that concept here’s what you have. Let’s assume you have come to writing later in your life after you have put away enough money to live on. You start by printing chapters of your book in a blog and gaining readers. Then you send your book to dozens of worthy agents using quick email. If you don’t succeed in these efforts to get a publisher, you publish yourself at a very low cost. Without a publisher footing the bill, you do your own editing. Added to that you hire a consultant to promote your book. Critical reviews can be found to improve your standing in the markets.
So what does this mean for the present day writer? The old saying is still good. Be true to yourself. Write what you feel. If you write well and your book is interesting, you should get attention. Note, I said interesting. Here’s the catch about being true to yourself. Many writers get a mental block that what they are saying is very important to the reading public. Then they spend a lot of time and money trying to convince that public that they are right. They may be wrong and that is why their books don’t sell. Just like in the old days, if it’s boring, better leave your book on your desk.
Let me know what you think from your own experiences.
Tom Hollyday, Boston Writers