Tag Archives: getting published

freelance writers vs. free-time writers


We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


I saw this quote in FreelanceDaily.net (If you don’t subscribe, it’s totally worth it!) and it reminded me of the writers vs. wannabe deal. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me after (or before) my class, “Breaking Into Freelance Writing” and talk about how they have “always wanted to write a book” or “always wanted to be a writer.” How can you WANT to be a writer? I hate to sound like Yoda but there is no want…you just do. 


This is the only difference b/n us and them. We write and they talk about writing. That’s why I stopped going to writers’ groups. So frustrating. I have much more respect for people who write and submit and get rejections (especially if they learn what to fix) than those who don’t even try. 


Of course, I write for a living – not “for fun” (though I love what I do!) – so I”m a bit biased. ; )

3 big mistakes new authors make


Although there are lots of them, here are 3 I see/hear about a lot:

1. Rushing to get a manuscript out before it’s “clean.” It’s easy to be excited about the fact that you’ve FINALLY finished that novel after 2 years, but you’ve got to make sure it’s truly ready. If you blow your chances with all the agents/publishers the first time around, you don’t get to make spelling and grammatical fixes and send it back out to them.

2. Trying to approach publishers before agents. There are lots of reasons this is bad, the three biggest of which is that major publishers won’t look at unagented manuscripts; agents can help you navigate through an ever-changing industry; once you get turned down by all the publishers, you can’t go back to try to get an agent because they have no one to shop your book to!

3. Writing about your life story. Everyone thinks their life is fascinating. Everyone’s friends say, “Oh, that’s a cool story. You should write about it.” But guess what, not everyone’s life is interesting. Find another topic or weave bits and pieces of your life into a book. Unless your famous, an autobiography won’t sell.