A Few things Writers Shouldn’t Do

Here we are again, and it is already the end of April – this year is flying by! (It hasn’t helped that my COVID vaccines knocked me flat for an entire week after each one.)

Recently, I read an article on Writer’s Digest regarding ‘Things a Writer Should Never Do.’ The report was particularly timely because I just wrote an email to a new writer regarding how Royalties on Amazon work.

I’m sure the news crushed her. Finding out that her novel will only net her $.82 per book sold – mostly because she had it in her head, she would make $7.50 of the $9.99 sales price. (I’m not sure if she will ever publish another book – but for a lot of us – it isn’t about the Royalties – it’s about being PUBLISHED.

So, here are a few of my ideas of ‘Things a Writer Should Never Do.’

DO NOT try to write like your favorite authors – you have your unique voice. ALWAYS write like yourself.

DO NOT believe that there is only ONE WAY to write a novel. There are HUNDREDs, if not THOUSANDS of books out there with helpful hints on how to write a story. (If you read them, only hold near and dear the things that apply to YOU and YOUR writing.

DO NOT stop writing to promote or pitch your last novel. Keep up your momentum and believe in yourself. While you are waiting to hear from a contest, agent, or publisher, you need to keep working on your next project. (If nothing else, it keeps you from going crazy.)

DO NOT get hung up on the debates: outlining versus not, how many words are in a novel? And all the rest – YOU HAVE YOUR STYLE – Do what makes you feel the most comfortable.

DO NOT hate someone for giving you their opinion or feedback. Your writing – along with everyone else’s – will not be for EVERYONE.

Remember that there are Trolls on the Internet and their favorite pastime to make other people doubt themselves. (So – Do NOT write to impress them or take their suggestions into consideration.)

DO NOT forget the basics of writing. Ensure that your MS is well-formatted, your grammar corrected, and your style is consistent.

DO NOT forget to proofread and edit your work. It is foolish to spend money for an editor to fix basic errors. READ your work OUT LOUD, and analyze sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, and your story as a whole.

Please DO NOT assume that it is EASY to write and market your MS. It is hard work and time-consuming. Give the project your best.

DO NOT write strictly from your inner ideas. Go outside, sit in restaurants and listen to other people talk. It will improve your dialogue and may even give you a story idea.

Please DO NOT forget to read. Reading is fantastic for writers – it keeps the brain awake! (And inspires you to write your best work.)

DO NOT be afraid to abandon a project that isn’t working. Put it away or throw it away, but don’t spend time on something that isn’t working.

DO NOT GIVE UP – Writers write. And they continue to put words on the page. Give your writing everything you have. The stories you tell will keep you warm at night. And then there are those wonderful moments when the story blossoms in your head – those ‘Aha’ moments that create joy in the hearts of writers.

And above all, DO NOT forget to have fun and enjoy the act of writing.

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on Amazon.com on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on Amazon.com - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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