Thursday, March 21, 2013

These Rules Can Work For Writers, Too

Some sage advicefor the way we conduct our lives in this poster. The title is Rules to live by... and as I read through it, a thought occurred to me. Most of these rules can be applied to those of us in the writing world. Let's look at them, one by one.

Express gratitude:  Do you ever send a thank you note to an editor when he/she accepts your work or even when they don't but have taken time to write a personal note to tell you why they are not going to use your work? Besides being good manners, the editor will more than likely remember you when you send in another submission. It's not easy to say thank you for a rejection, but turn that negative into a positive and perhaps you'll benefit.

Keep your promises:  This one's easy. When you have a deadline, meet it. Editors have deadlines, too, and they need you to keep to the schedule.

Say "I love you":  You don't have to use those exact words but a bit of appreciation to either your editors or your readers will go a long way. 

Share your love:  Isn't it better to share with others than to keep it all to yourself?

Laugh at yourself:  I laugh at a lot of my earliest writing. How could I have written that, I wonder. I know some writers who feel shamed or humiliated by their earliest works. Not necessary. Have a good laugh and be glad that you've grown as a writer over time.

Use words of kindness:  That old saying "Honey attracts more flies than vinegar" holds true when dealing with your editors or your readers. Let kindness rise to the top like cream and push cruel remarks off the nearest cliff lest they come back to haunt you.

Consider others:  Try not to put yourself ahead of others. Give thought to their feelings. Yes, writing is a competitve activity but the one who pushes everyone else out of the way in order to get ahead could end up being the loser.

Do your best:  I'm glad this one is the final rule. Whenever you write a story, a poem, or an article aim for the top. Give it your all. If your best isn't good enough for your work to be published, that's OK. A steady diet of striving for that goal will eventually pay off.

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