Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Deadly Sin for Writers #4


We are on Day Four of my list of the Seven Deadly Sins for Writers, and this is one of my favorites. I could have written volumes on this particular subject, but, you know, brevity is a virtue.
Ignorance

As hard as it may be to believe, ignorance is a vice that afflicts our industry more often than you might imagine. It may have to do with the proliferation of mass media, particularly the Internet, and the belief that if you can post a comment to a blog, send a Tweet, or set up a Facebook page, you can write a book. What truly amazes me is that with such an abundance of legitimate information out there on the subject of writing and publishing-- the numerous agent, publisher and writer blogs, the hundreds of books written on the subject, not to mention the online writing courses offered-- so few people actually bother to research and/or educate themselves in the profession they want to join. I recently scanned through a thread on the "literature" section of a social networking site in which a young man was asking for help in finding a publisher for the book he was "thinking of writing"– in all lower case letters, with three words misspelled. The true tragedy of this post was that in the 46 replies I read , no one pointed out the obvious to him. 1)Learn to spell 2)Learn to write 3)Learn your craft.

And before you look for a publisher, you might, ahem, actually want to write a book.

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