Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Instant Fame...Not Karma: Gaining popularity as a writer

Thanks to
“Instant Karma’s gonna get you...gonna knock you right on the head.”

But, this is about “Instant Fame”, and nothing to do with Karma. Well, maybe a little to do with it.

When people first begin writing, it’s easy to think the first draft of a story is amazing.

With experience however, writers learn that a perfect first draft is an unlikely scenario, if not impossible; let’s hope they think that, at least. It would be a shame if they lived the rest of their lives thinking the publishing world wouldn’t know a good story if it kicked them in the face. Then again, why is Twilight so popular? That’s for another post.

But, John Lennon had some good insight: we all think we’re doing such a great job, until it becomes rather obvious that we’re lacking somehow, in some place.

It would be a real splendid thing if we could all be spectacular writers (and this includes poets, short story writers and journalists, too). And, the world would certainly be a better place if more of the writing out there was actually something with which to be impressed. Yet, it certainly is not. Even self-published authors, those that circumvent the system because they believe it’s easier or more epic/romantic, have weak plots, issues with style, grammar, and yes, even typos. For G-d’s sake, check the damn typos! (Or hire an editor.) (Or hire J.)

Now that I have officially forced all of you into depression, let’s dig ourselves out and bask in the sun for a moment.

You can become a famous writer. You can see your name in print (self-published or not). But, do not expect it to be an overnight occurrence. If it was, it would be an even worse business.

From previous posts, it becomes apparent that there is not a unique way to get your name and work out there. By “out there”, I mean to people other than your immediate family & friends.

The best thing you can probably do, though, is to be open with your writing. The longer you wait and stricter you are with it, the longer it will take to garner any sort of following. By stricter, I mean keeping it to yourself. It is really challenging, if not impossible, to get a real sense for the quality of your piece without the perspective of another person. (This person should preferably not be your significant other or close friend, although that is not a general rule.)

Therefore, keep your chin up and trudge along. If you want it badly enough, and you have any sort of talent, you’ll find a way.


PS: Don’t cause wars/fights on online writing communities. You will only hurt yourself. Be nice and be intelligent. (This is the Karma bit.)

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