Monday, December 12, 2011

If I knew Then What I Know Now...

Posted by Mackenzie Crowne at 6:41 PM
Welcome folks. So glad you came by, and since you're here, you won't mind if I pick your brain, right? Please? I'll be your best friend! ;-) Excellent! I knew I could count on you. Thank you, thank you! 

Okay, here we go. Since reading the words, 'We think your manuscript will be a wonderful addition to our line', I have met some awesome authors and web lurkers who have been very gracious in sharing their knowledge. Yet I have so much more to learn. About publishing, and writing, and the dreaded promoting. And I know there are many others out there who are in the same position. I am a believer in expediency, so with that thought in mind, I am asking all you lovely folks to share what you've learned, and answer two pertinent questions for us lost and wandering newbies:
1. If I knew then what I know now, I would have...
2. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have...

 I'm pretty new at all of this so take my answers in context. 

1. I would have jumped into the world of social media a lot sooner. There is so much to learn and gaining an education on a supersonic schedule gives me a headache.
2. I wouldn't have been so timid in my first experience with the professional editing of my work. I know the characters inside and out. I need to learn to trust to my inner voice when it balks.

Okay, your turn! 
*Leaning forward in my chair, anxiously awaiting your answers*

Trouble commenting? Click on comments at the top of this post.


Calisa Rhose said...

Not that I'm seasoned, but a newbie like you, I still want to offer my advice to others who are newer than I am. Make sure that manuscript is READY. That YOU are ready to write and then submit. Don't let over confidence kill your buzz by getting rejection after rejection without doing all you can to improve your craft FIRST. You are good and you know you are. Be great! Then, and only then, submit.

I would have tried to write a book a LOT sooner as a serious writer than I did! I feel like I wasted so many years and opportunities by not having the confidence to try until six years ago.

I wouldn't have waited so long. But I also wouldn't have wrote and submitted my first so wrecklessly once I did sit and write that first ms. I know now that I needed to learn so much more before torturing those editors!

Vonnie Davis said...

Like Calisa, I would have started writing seriously sooner. I would have learned my craft, too. I majored in English in college as a grandma and then worked as a technical writer, I knew how to write. What I didn't know was the craft of writing. POV...GMC...character arc, etc. Online classes in those things have been a boon.

Decide first what name you'll write under. Create your blog and website under that name. Also do facebook and twitter under the pen name. Then start writing.

Build your platform. Enter writing contests. Writers Journal "Write to Win" is a great way to get a reference. The first 4 or 5 words are given. You must use those to begin a short story under 1500 words. Cost to enter is $5.00. First place pays $100. Other prizes are a years subscription. Try writing magazine articles to build your platform. Your agent or editor want to see that someone other than your mom and best friend like your writing.

Write blogs for Savvy Authors. If you're pre-published this helps pad your resume. If you are published, this gets you free publicity because your cover and book info are also listed with your blog.

Rarely...rarely mention your book on facebook or twitter. People can't stand it. Focus on others. By showcasing other writers, you send the message you're a decent person...and people will check you out. Keep pimping your book and they will tune you out. Build relationships.

Sandy Wickersham-McWhorter said...

At a young age, I would have asked all my relatives more about my and my brothers' childhoods. I'm writing our memoir for a master's degree in non-fiction. Though I remember in excruciating detail events, time, and places, I know little of the motivation behind what my parents did. I can only be a CSI detective or Sherlock Holmes and make inferences from my memoires, two remaining relatives, and some very old pictures. Sad in a way.

Jannine Gallant said...

Show your true personality when you blog, comment on facebook, etc. I have a tendancy to think, "no one will care about how far behind I am with my Christmas decorating, the funny thing my dog did, or that my daughters looked beautiful in their ballet show. But you know what, I get way more likes and comments about these things than when I post about more authorly topics. I think people relate to the inner you - a lesson I wish I'd learned sooner.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Great tips, Ladies. I too wish I had begun writing seriously earlier than I did, Calisa, but better late than never. Thanks for sharing and happy holidays.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Vonnie, that's a great list for my list. I agree, learning the craft is so important. That first manuscript? Reading it now is like having spikes shoved under my fingernails. Contests? Yikes. Going to have to build my courage up for that. Thanks, and happy holidays to you and yours.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Sandy, you are so right. We sat down and video taped grandma and then later my parents. The experience was odd for them at first but then they settled down, forgot about the camera, and gave us stories we'd never heard before. I'm so glad we did it. Not only did we learn about them as young people, now that g'ma and Dad are gone, we have them forever through those files. Thanks for stopping by. Happy holidays.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Jannine, excellent point. I too hesitate to share what I see as the boring details of day to day, unless it's about my g'babies. Still finding my footing along those lines, and so many other lines as well. So glad you could stop by. Happy holidays to you.