Dear Readers/Fellow Writers;
After today, I am taking time off from my blog, other than replying to comments/inquiries, until January 31, 2013. I will be focusing on my goal of finishing one of the books I am writing, with the intention of entering it into a specific manuscript contest with the aforementioned date being the deadline. I am working steadily but in order to finish, have it proofread and perform final edits, I cannot allow room for much distraction.
Upon completion, I hope to be able to update the blog more frequently, talk about my other projects, those of some amazing people I have recently met and of course, review more books. Book reviews will reconvene after January 2013. I still have a couple on my list that I will get to, promise! Other’s I have been sent, will not be reviewed and you will be notified of this, soon.
I will be revising the guidelines to the book review submission. I have, unfortunately, received some material that I simply cannot give attention to. When this happens, I normally let authors know, with reason. Due to my experience, I can quickly grasp how much polishing occurred by skimming the first chapter. Sending a reviewer (any reviewer) work that has not been professionally edited or proofread, or is an unformatted PDF or Word Document, is unprofessional and does not reflect well upon how seriously one wants to be taken.
I’ve been through the publishing process therefore I understand, fairly well, how painstaking it is. I am also an editor and have been for a long time therefore not much escapes my keen eyes (which is not always a joy, trust me). Sending me something that is not a “finished” product is just not wise. I’m mentioning this as a sound piece of advice to anyone out there who writes to get published, not to be mean, rather to be helpful. J
ON MY SOAPBOX:
Please read this section through, to completion, before jumping to any conclusions. Why? I am a truly good-hearted person, so saying anything that would be discouraging or hurtful to others is pretty much against my nature. However, I feel the time has come for me to take to my tiny soapbox on behalf of other writers.
I have said this out loud, in public, and it always gets me surprising looks but I am not changing my opinion (to which I am entitled):
To all “aspiring” writers out there—Just because you have a story does not make you a writer. Neither does the fact you can now self-publish an ebook/book, make you a published author. What it does do is demean the talent, time and craft of writing, professionally, thus giving those of us who are truly writing because we must (born this way) or after years of learning how to write well, less credence in the world. Many of us do not do it for the money or fame, we do it because it is our calling in life or God anoints us to teach something on His behalf.
If you have a great story and you’d like to tell it, yet aren’t a crafted writer, I implore you to take a class or workshop. Or, find a co-author…someone who is a gifted writer or editor who can take your story to another level. There are plenty of us out here who would love to help you do justice to what you’ve got. Please, don’t just produce to produce and make a buck from Amazon.
I encourage everyone who does feel the need to write a book, to learn about the craft, the skill and hone it, before trying to publish. Find your writer’s voice—it’s important! Experiment with styles and processes (see my post regarding the “writing process”) and read a lot…and I mean a lot of books! Being well read will help you learn to distinguish bad writing from decent writing and decent from GREAT writing. We will all be grateful for your taking a little more time and effort to produce something, better than okay, and in the long run, it benefits you more than anyone else.
Thank you for listening! Have a wonderful rest of 2012, a blessed holiday season and let there be peace on earth (and let it begin with you).
Creatively yours since 1974…