Saturday, June 30, 2007

Leading By Example

I don't seem to have many wanna-be writers reading this blog (unlike the blogs of most editors/writers/agents), possibly because I don't really give writing advice. (The one thing I do say, to paraphrase Calvin Trillin on parenting, is "Try to write one that doesn't suck.")

But, just in case they are out there, lurking, I'd like to present myself as an object lesson. It's OK, I'm a positive one. (I think.)

One thing you would-be writers hear incessantly from the folks who do give advice (Miss Snark of dear memory, Writer Beware, Paperback Writer, and so on) is that you need to present yourself in public in a professional manner. The corollary is that you must also realize when you are in public, and in particular, to remember that Internet posts (viz: this one) are public acts.

So: in the same way that it's best for a would-be writer not to complain about rejection letters, to obsess over potential agents, and to fulminate at the idiocies of publishing in public, it's also best for someone actively seeking work in publishing in a different capacity (again, viz: me) to similarly be reticent and keep private matters private.

My advice to any beginning writers reading this is: let yourselves be guided by my example. I haven't posted about what I've been doing, and I won't until I can say "on day X, I'll begin at Company Y as their new Z." Solid, obvious milestones -- a novel completed, acceptance by an agent or publisher, movie deals complete with swimming-pools full of money -- are to be publicized and celebrated. But steps, and particularly setbacks, along the way, should remain private.

Oh, and while you're at it, the picture of you on MySpace toting the beer bong and wearing that outfit really should disappear as well...

1 comment:

sdn said...

exactly. because as soon as i get something new to read, know what i do? i go online and find the author.

and sometimes this is a Bad Thing.

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