(As you've probably already deduced, we rarely actually get to Photoshop Friday on Friday . . . But better whenever than never, right?)
As a new writer, just starting to explore the advice and camaraderie available in the online writing community, it's easy to fall victim to information overload. We hear certain ideas again and again, and something starts to happen . . .
The new writer reads between the lines of this usually well-intentioned advice and determines new, INDISPUTABLE TRUTHS. Truths that fill us with both fear and the hearty determination of the proletariat. But the new writer isn't the only one to feel the fear. Who among us has not pondered these "facts" at one point or another?
The Party is Always Right
The first "truth" that haunts every writer is the that of Publishing's TICKING CLOCK. Time is running out. If you don't finish this book, edit it, get an agent, and go on submission soon, you'll miss your chance! Publishing will be over! No one reads books now! And no one will print paper books anyway! You'll spend the rest of your miserable life mourning the DREAM THAT DIED BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO SLOW!!!
So you finish your book on time? It's not going to help unless you're doing everything you should. No publisher will touch you unless you've built up your platform! Do you have a blog? You'd better. Does it have a good following? (You call that good?) What about Twitter? If your follow-to-following ratio isn't impressive, no publisher will touch you. Are you networking? Kissing all the right butts? If not, you'll never get that awesome blurb, and (you guessed it) NO PUBLISHER WILL TOUCH YOU.
Look, in the end, there's no point doing any of this if your book isn't amazing. Right? The Party demands perfect characters, snappy voice, and a flawlessly flowing plot. Don't have that? No? What do you think your chances are? Why bother trying? I mean, for realz.
I'll repeat the question I asked at the beginning: who among us hasn't had the words of The Party ring in our ears from time to time? I know I have. In fact, I'd say I'm visited by the Party two to three times a week.
But we all know what the real truth is, right? Let's all hold hands and repeat after me: The Party is always WRONG.
How about you? Any other slogans echoing in your mind?