Dawn Montgomery

So What’s the Deal?

In #amwriting, Challenges on February 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm

How have your writing goals gone along? Mine have been cracking the whip at me for the past three weeks. I have an immediate deadline I have to finish so I’ve been chained to my desk. I have 10k to go on Time Jump and will be finishing up The Lady Thief today.

So I dropped into a chat yesterday, a writer’s chat. They were doing speedwriting sessions and I love those. Shares were offered afterward (typical behavior) and there was an overall sense of…well…hateful and snide comments. It gave many newer writers pause and just plain pissed me off. Ladies and gents, I just don’t get it.

Let’s talk a little protocol, shall we?

Rude behavior is not justified. Period.

Encourage each other to express their creativity. Not everyone wants to be the next bestseller, a common household name, or even published. Writing by hand in any fashion, typing, handwritten, and/or dictation is a cathartic endeavor for almost anyone. Offer suggestions (especially in a public forum) ONLY when asked for your opinion.

Don’t call each other names. Am I the only one surprised at how this went down? I don’t know about most of you in the writing-verse, but I had a rough time in school. Bullying isn’t acceptable in my writing world and it’s the quickest way for me to shut you out of my universe. I refuse to deal with it in the only place I found solace for most of my life…writing. So keep your schoolyard bullying to yourself, please. No one thinks you’re a queen/king. They think you’re a jerk and will avoid you like the plague.

From the other side…as a newer author, sending your works in progress (without a previous agreement) to your favorite authors to read is disrespectful for a few reasons:

  • They are under legal obligation to their own publishers to meet intense deadlines. The last thing they or you want is to be influenced in any way by your idea. So for legal reasons, most won’t even look at it.
  • They have worked hard for every one of their stories, trudged through revisions, submissions, rejections, etc. Most became better storytellers from the tempering they received. You need to work, learn, revise, submit, and learn from any critique you’re given.
  • You may have unrealistic expectations. If they revise your ms and send it back to you, you expect to submit the piece (perhaps) and get accepted. That is not always the case. I have yet to see one published author who hasn’t had at least one rejection AFTER they’ve become published. If you don’t get accepted, you’ve put pressure on the author and yourself. It could be detrimental to any future correspondence if blame is placed.
  • Time is critical. Most of us have full time jobs on top of our writing careers. So what little time we have must be devoted to our writing craft. It has to be or our own income falls to nothing.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people send me their MS’s for consideration. I can’t, for the life of me, tell you why. I struggle with the written word like anyone else. Telling a story is difficult, at least for me…BUT there is nothing like it in the world! I love it.

These were the things brought up in the chat…and let me tell you what it accomplished. Two wasted hours. Two hours that could have been spent writing and not spent worrying, obsessing, insulting, or arguing. That’s two hours most of them won’t get back. I’m just glad I decided to hit mute on the chat (so I can’t hear the dings and other sound effects) and wrote through it. After two hours I got fed up and just left.

I can guarantee you one thing…you won’t see me insult you, treat you like your inferior, or assume I know what works best for you, writing-wise. Everyone follows their own path, and if you’ve been following this blog you know the path I follow involved a lot of trial and error til I found something that worked for me.

My word count for the week was over 9K. I’m pretty thrilled! Have a good week, all.

Keep Writing!

Dawn

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  1. Wow…and I thought we were adults! There’s something about the facelessness of the internet that often brings out the worst in people. Glad you didn’t let it distract you from writing!

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