There is much confusion about commas and other punctuation. Often writers get them confused. Hell, even editors have been known to get a little muddled. For commas, there is a significant amount of debate over the correct usage, particularly the Oxford comma. Many editors will agree that commas seem to be disappearing from text. However, one little comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence.
Publishing, like so many other industries, can be solitary, and any activity that you have on social media can reflect badly on you, depending on the nature of your posts. An innocent comment could easily be taken as negative, even if it’s not intended that way. To avoid putting anything out that can be misinterpreted, it is vital that you have a person whom you trust that you can grumble to. Perhaps you received a critique that made your blood boil, or maybe you are reading through a passage that you are struggling to understand for whatever reason. Maybe you have provided feedback to a fellow writer who just refuses to listen and have gone on the defensive. At all times, you need to be professional on public forums, but when in private with your grumble buddy… Everyone needs a grumble buddy.
If you don’t want to have a blog, don’t. There is no hard and fast rule that writers need a blog. A writer’s platform consists of all the platforms that you feel comfortable with. If that includes a blog, then great. It if doesn’t, then that’s fine too. However, I would recommend a website for all. Using systems like WordPress, means that a website is easy to build and it is one of the best ways to keep your readers up to date with the latest news about your writing.
Those who are heading down the road toward traditional publication will be familiar with this beast known as a synopsis. Many agents and publishers require that you submit a 1/2-page synopsis with your submission materials. The chore of writing a synopsis that length is a frightening task and many writers have been known to want to run screaming. So, when I mention that writers should write synopses as an editing tool, it’s not surprising that many look at me like I’m crazy. But believe it or not, an “editorial synopsis” can help you craft the perfect story.
There are some out there who are so afraid that they’ll make a grammatical error on a blog post that they never update or release that blog post. Mistakes happen. No one is perfect. Even this editor has made a few whoppers (i.e. you’re instead of your, and colonial instead of colonel). It’s okay. If you strive for perfection, you’ll never get anywhere. Publish the post anyway. However, if you do notice the mistake after it’s been published, then go into the system and edit it. It’s that simple. At the end of the day, it’s just a blog post.
It doesn’t matter if you are traditionally published or self-published: books don’t promote themselves. You need to put some time, effort, and energy into book promotion. It’s all about getting the word out there. To make matters worse, there are no magic answers. (If you know of a magic answer, please tell me. I could really use one.)
The moment you make the decision that you want to become published, start thinking about a writer’s platform. It’s never too early. Get involved in Twitter — start connecting with other writers. Connect on Facebook — lock away a custom author’s page. Think about a blog/website. Maybe you like taking photos, so use Instagram. There are so many options. Let’s face it, agents, publishers and fans will google you. The more hits you can get on the Google search, the better off you’ll be.
Writers are the worst procrastinators around, able to find any excuse not to write, edit or anything else in preparation of that manuscript — even stare at the ceiling and count the holes in each tile. Social media is our worst procrastination tool because it holds all the illusions of productivity. If you’re struggling to get the words down, put yourself in a bubble and disconnect from the world. Remove the distractions. However, it won’t stop you from staring at the ceiling.
The publishing industry has changed in a big way, thanks to the Internet, social media and self-publishing. While some aspects have opened doors to so many writers who would have struggled in a big way to become a published author, there are some aspects that have actually closed the doors to traditional publication paths.
Writing is PUBLISHED the moment it’s in the public domain. Think twice about hitting that submit button to your blog or sites like WattPad. Let me explain further…