6.20.2011

4 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER STOP DOING

no matter what stage you're at in this process, there are always things you should be doing.
here are four:

1. READ BLOGS

blogs are the gold mine of the internet. i learned about 100% of what i know about publishing from the internet. (danger danger: you must, of course, be wary of what you read! find blogs that are known and respected -- blogs that win awards for content and are generally agreed upon as the best publishing blogs in the industry -- i'm talking about Nathan Bransford, Janet Reid, Rachelle Gardner, Miss Snark, Pimp My Novel, Guide to Literary Agents, GalleyCat, Writer Beware, Alan Rinzler, and 101 MORE of some of the best sites on the web.) i read blogs before i had a clue, i read them while i was still figuring things out, and i read them now, every day, every single day, long after i started this process. good blogs will keep you on your toes and apprised of current events, changes in the economic climate, breaking news with regard to bookstores, authors, agents and editors. if you want to know the world you're working in, you have to keep yourself informed. all the time.

2. READ NEW RELEASES

not just books. not just any books. but the new releases in your genre. you have to know what's selling, what's working, what's doing well in the market. read everything! but don't forget to read lots of new releases, too. they'll give you a good idea of how trends are working and what readers are responding to. it's also interesting to study publicity, marketing, to see how much the industry has shifted in these new-fangled electronic days and how much social media is making a difference in how we connect with readers. things are changing, books are changing; new releases will give you a... newer perspective into what's happening on the shelves.

3. CONNECT WITH ASPIRING WRITERS

as you progress in this industry, you'll tend to meet and connect with other writers who've, more or less, achieved the same sort milestones you have. and this is good. it's always good. but i think it's also very important to never lose touch with those who are still new to the journey, still plugging along, still drafting, editing, preparing to query, or sitting tight in the query trenches, helmets strapped to their heads as shrapnel falls from the sky. don't lose sight of where you came from and how long this journey was, is, will continue to be. there are so many talented writers (agented or unagented, published or unpublished) that we can learn from and build relationships with. don't burn any bridges. don't isolate yourself from others just because you've managed to climb another rung on this ladder. we're all here to support each other and we can't afford to lose that.

4. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

no, seriously. being a writer makes it too easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of writing, reading, editing, reading, editing, reading, writing, tooting, myfacing, spacebooking and emailing. get out of your house. say hello to someone who doesn't live inside of your computer. exercise your eyes in front of natural light. go buy a carton of milk. trip on the sidewalk and blush in front of a friendly stranger or two. go to a coffee shop and hold up the line by asking for a tall half-skinny half-1 percent extra hot split quad shot (two shots decaf, two shots regular) latte with whip. and then smile a lot. twitch a little. wonder if these pants are too tight, too loose, too long on you now, because honestly, you can't remember the last time you wore actual pants made from anything but stretchy cotton. try to make time for the fun things, for social events, for long walks on the beach. it's good to feel an actual breeze every once in a while. really. at least this is what i've heard. i wouldn't know.

i'm clearly still sitting inside of my house.

<3

30 comments:

Jen Daiker said...

Blog. Read. Meet. Search for cupcakes - outside.

Got it.

Naomi Canale said...

"trip on the sidewalk and blush in front of a friendly stranger or two" Oh my favorite line! *love* this post!

Maggie said...

Excellent list. Thanks for the reminders!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

If it weren't for the day job, I'm not sure I'd get out of the house. Great advice.

A.J. Mullarky said...

sound advice, I like it :)

Tere Kirkland said...

You know you've been sitting in front of your computer too long when things like breezes and sunshine cause you physical pain. ;)

These are great rules, Tahereh!

Dan said...

Very good post. Well said!

Dan

TayLyee said...

I don't know how you do it but your posts always manage to make me smile :D Thank you!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Wow. It was a beautiful post, and all so true! I especially appreciate number 3 because occasionally people forget. You threw me off because I expected this to be a funny post, but I forgive you for getting me all emotional. :D

Ava Jae said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome advice! Blogs like yours will soon be listed in the same sentence as Nathan Bransford and Pimp My Novel. It's so insanely helpful and funny and you've yet to disappoint. :)

Keep being awesome and thanks for sharing with us!

Emily Casey said...

I really do need to get out more. Does chasing kids out of thi living room count?

Marsha Sigman said...

Definitely a good list. I might actually have lunch with some real life friends this week. Not that you guys are like imaginary...but you know what I mean. People who actual look back at me and wonder when is the last time I did anything with my hair.

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

Love this post. I plan to trip and blush very soon. My writing improves with frequent visits to the real world.

Motherkitty said...

Wonderful post! I need to take heed. Getting out more would do me a world of good. Thanks for the advice.

Amanda said...

I sometimes have a little trouble with #4 (being an aspiring hermit and all), but, yes, good list.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Great advice - I do need to keep reading. It's summer now, so I'll have more time for it. Yay!

Jaleh D said...

Great list!

Carrie said...

great advice. I know it always helps me to get out of the house.

BellaVida said...

Good tips. I really should get out of the house more often.

Bella Vida by Letty
Have a great day.

BP said...

Hee hee to that last line. But reading this, one is led to assume that you still have a window of the world with one heck of a view. ;D

Jenni said...

Excellent advice! I'm an aspiring writer and I love finding blogs like this. It's also good to know I'm at least on the right track! :)

Karen Lee Hallam said...

Lucky for me I have a sciatic nerve that bothers me when I've sat around too much. Good advice and Great Blog-- I'm glad to discover.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Great advice! And all things I love to do! :D

Christine Murray said...

Great post. You have such a distinctive voice, I love reading your blog.

Erin said...

Love it! great post (makes me want to read more from you)! Love your final advice especially. it's too true that writers get caught up at their computer (I'm just as guilty). we must remember the outside world is just as inspiring as what's inside our heads!

ralfast said...

Great advice. I find that my reading has slowed down, even in books that I like. But you need to keep reading and writing.

linda said...

You are brilliant! Great post.

Julie Musil said...

I love this! I read someone else's great advice: Life...have one.

Jill Kemerer said...

Love your list and I do them all--except I only get out of the house because of my kids! Terrible!!

PW.Creighton said...

Excellent advice. Write, Learn and Live… what can we ever hope to know if we don't truly live too.

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