Thursday, October 2, 2008

For Bad Advice About Your Writing, Just Ask

-any relative or in-law.
-your lover.
-a roommate or neighbor.
-your pastor.
-your landlord.
-anyone who is a model for a character in your short story or novel.
-anyone mentioned in your nonfiction.
-anyone who “wants to write” but never did.
-a former writer or blocked writer.
-any professor, except a creative-writing professor. (A literature professor will dig up and show you the creative writing he did while in college, and point out how it is superior to yours. Think I'm joking? I've had that happen to me TWICE.)
-anyone who tries to shrug off your request.
-a famous person, writer or not. If he's a writer, he's too busy writing to give advice. If he's not a writer, why ask him?
-a substance abuser, including hip and stylish marijuana smokers.
-anyone who works for you.
-anyone who fawns or is thrilled to pieces to be asked to read your manuscript.
-someone not yet of legal age.
-someone you’ve just met.
-someone you want to impress.
-anyone who jokes that he or she should get a percentage of the proceeds when you sell the manuscript.
-an “agent” you’ve found on the Internet who requires you to pay a “reading fee.”
-anyone you secretly think is conceited or a pest.
-anyone who asks to be paid with something other than money.

NEXT: Where to get good advice.

1 comment:

  1. I have one more to add to the list: MySpace. There are groups of writers and poets who regularly post blogs (I was an active part of this for a couple years). It becomes such an I'll-read-you-if-you-read-me game, and the suck up and praise to friends, as well as the art of writing intriguing comments to draw more readers to your own blog, feels hollow and shameless quite fast.