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Writing Conference: 10 Bad things

When you go to a writing conference, there’s going to be information that’s good and information that doesn’t apply to you and information that’s quite bad. Here are some of the things that came up at my most recent conference which you can safely ignore as wrong or silly or misguided:

1. How will we curate all those bad books coming from self-publishers? I’m so tired of this objection, and have dealt with it so much elsewhere here, I’m not ev–zzz. (See Related articles below for that rehash if you feel the urge.)

2. Don’t mix gay narrative with straight narrative. So…ghettoize gays and keep everyone separate, as if our gayness or straightness is our single defining characteristic? Nope! I reject the premise. Screw you…in whatever way you prefer.

3. Order 1,000 books because, due to cost per unit, 1,000 won’t cost much more than 200 books. This, versus the more experienced publisher who pointed out that he only ordered what he needed because he knew it would take him two years to sell 500 books. (Plus a garage full of books is so depressing and unnecessary with the advent of POD.)

4.  Any worries about Amazon’s first novel contest. You have nothing to lose from participating in it.

5. Any worries that someone will steal your idea. There is a scientific correlation to this particular worry: The more you worry about it, the more your idea sucks anyway.

6. This is the end of publishing. Publishing’s changing, that’s all. Adapt or die.

7. I shudder at e-books. Then you’re old. Get over it or wait and that problem will resolve itself.

8. “Twitter is awful. What can I say in 140 characters?” This, from an editor. My internal monologue was: You must be a really lousy editor and you’re telling me you are committed to not being at all clever.

9. “Twitter cuts into my writing time.” This, from the same editor. If she read my blog (DEATH STARE!) she’d know (CHAZZ LAW) Twitter is for time that would be unproductive anyway. Fully functional adults manage their time. (And addicts have to want to change.)

10. “Get an editor for your self-published book!” This is not bad advice. It’s not wrong. However, it is condescending. The people who will take this advice are already on board. The people who won’t take this good advice won’t change no matter what you say.

Filed under: Books, Writers, Writing Conferences, writing tips, , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Catana says:

    In the main, I agree with most of your list. I’m not gay, but some of my characters are, and my writing isn’t about being gay, it’s about people who happen to be gay. Which makes life very difficult because my writing is pretty mainstream, but a lot of people will see it as m/m romance. Sigh.

    Now, for the caveats:
    #7. Please. I’m 74 and I’ve been happily coasting on new technologies, right up to and including ebooks. And I’m not alone. Many of our internet and tech senior citizens were in the forefront of the move to the internet and our digital lives. It’s time to bury that dead horse. Some people will always resist change, no matter their age.

    #10. Some writers know how to write and how to edit. And they know how to use beta readers who also know enough to serve as editors. Not using (and paying for) a professional editor isn’t necessarily the path to hell.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog, but sometimes I have to be pissed off to comment.

  2. Chazz says:

    If it makes you feel better, we could substitute “stale” for old. And yes, I’ve met some very stale 23-year-olds. And yes, not using a professional editor is not necessarily negative. It usually is, but not necessarily. That’s a long discussion for another post another day.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. […] Writing Conference: 10 Bad things (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] Writing Conference: 10 Bad things (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

  5. […] Writing Conference: 10 Bad things (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

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