Today it's time for the Writer's Reveal post. This month's topic was sent to me from Melissa of Melissa Writes and the topic is, in her words, " Write a post about what not to do as a writer. Ideally at least 5 points."
A Writer should never....
1. Give up. If you have been writing for a while now and you feel like your not getting anywhere with it, try a different approach or take some new classes to help you hone your skills. Don't just throw in the towel. Very few people actually decide to become writers and then start writing. If you have managed to get that far, then you need to keep at it. There's a reason you decided to write.
2. Stop improving and learning. Writing skills develop through use. Some people might be born with a natural talent for writing, but most of the writers you see with books that are top-sellers had to learn to write that well. It takes time and practice and, for some, classes and tutorials. You need to get people to critique your manuscripts and you will learn from those critiques so that you don't make the same mistakes with the next first draft you write.
3. Talk about writing more than you actually write. Nothing is going to get written if you don't sit your butt down in that chair and write. Talking about your story is great; it can help you flesh out your ideas when you talk about the story with someone else, but if you spend all of your time on your book discussing it or thinking about it and spend no time actually writing those ideas down, you are not ever going to get your book written.
4. Let Facebook, Twitter and other social media take over your computer time. Again, you have to actually spend time writing your story if you ever want to finish it. Facebook, Twitter and other avenues of social media have this magical way of making time fly by without you ever getting anything done. Don't let the pull of social media keep you from getting your writing done. Set aside time for social media and stick to that time. Also set aside time for writing when all the social media pages are closed down on your computer and your phone is turned off.
5. Isolate yourself. Social media has one thing going for it when it comes to a writer's life. Social media can connect you with other writers, agents and publishers. One thing about the writing world, writers are usually willing to help each other. Instead of seeing one another as competition for the book selling market, writers have been reaching out to one another for years - giving moral support, helping by critiquing each others' books, creating and joining writing challenges and groups, helping spread the word of new book releases, writing reviews, helping one another brainstorm ideas and more. As a writer, you really don't want to miss out on all of the support you can get from other writers.
6. Reply to a review you find on Amazon, Goodreads or elsewhere. Even if you make a positive statement, it can backfire. There was recently a lot of discussion and argument about what authors should and shouldn't do when it comes to reviewing, but the easiest way to stay out of trouble with the public is to not respond to reviews.
You might have noticed that I listed 6 things instead of 5. It could easily have been longer.
Instead of the above list of things you should not do as a writer, I'd like to state the one thing that you absolutely HAVE to do. Believe in yourself!