Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some Advice for Newer Writers - or - how my naivety reared its oblivious head

I’m naïve in many ways. I’m a slow learner. For a long time when I watched panels at writing or other types of conventions, I assumed all the people up there were invited for their vast knowledge of that topic. Sure, some folks are invited to sit on panels for that very reason, and they all have (hopefully) some knowledge on the subject, but here’s what I finally realized. Many of those panel participants weren’t initially invited. They asked to be up there. Sure, not everyone who asks gets to be up there, but if you don’t ask…

Was this obvious to everyone but me? Like I said, I’m a bit naïve.
Like this, but with less fur and more beer gut.
Same thing with newspapers. I figured you had to be popular enough that an editor seeks you out. Again, that happens, but you know what? I’ve been in a number of newspapers and newsletters and on blogs simply because I contacted them first. I sent them a polite email saying something like, Hey, I have this book and it takes place in your area…or…I’m from this area…or…I grew up in this area.

See what I’m saying?

Again, obvious? Then why didn’t you tell me!?

Same thing with book signings and readings. Some are invited. A lot of others ask. Do you always get what you ask for? Of course not. But again, if you don’t ask

Ask a blog you admire if they’d let you contribute a guest piece. Ask a book reviewer if they’d consider giving your book an honest review. As a con organizer if you can sit on a few panels or give a reading. Hear about some literary happening in your area? Ask if you can participate.

Ask, ask, ask.

Even if they say no, they might keep you in mind for something else down the line.

Ask, my friend, ask.

Sometimes the answer might just be a great big Yes!

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