There is a reason I will no longer give advice to aspiring writers. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue this blog, which sometimes contains advice. But if anyone, who wants to be a published writer, comes to me with questions or seeks encouragement, I have no answers and refuse to read anyone else’s “manuscripts” any more and give “free” critiques.
One of my sons has a vlog. He frequently disparges me on it because he doesn’t like me. His most recent vlog included a rant about how his mother suggested that he give away something he had written.
Here’s what actually happened, and it’s the straw that broke this camel’s back.
I saw his blogs online and the first one I read was about Pokemon’ Go!. It was very well written, contained great ideas, and impressed me. I told him he could sell some of the things he had written on that blog. That’s what I said.
What he seemed to have heard was, “you can get rich quick selling this stuff and should do that right away”.
So he asked me, who is a writer and has been published, to find markets for his stuff. He seems to have trouble navigating the Writer’s Market. Well, so did I until I spent time learning how to use it.
So in response to his request to find markets, I commented that I’d had a guest column published in The News and Observer, which is read by many in North Carolina. I suggested he send his blog in first as a letter to the editor, because I felt sure they’d use it for that at least, and in hopes of them asking to use it as a guest column. One of my letters to the editor at the News and Observer did turn into a guest column at their request. I think the date was May 25, 2005, but I cannot find the link online.
He wanted to know how much they’d pay? Well, actually nothing. But he’d have that publication “under his belt” and it would help him get more things published.
His response was that he wasn’t giving his work away for free. Then he went on to vlog about how his mother told him he could sell his writing and then suggested he give it away for free.
I am no amateur writer. I’ve been published more than once. I’ve let some of my things get published by big markets for free just for the exposure. The more credits you have, the more seriously would-be publishers will consider your submissions.
I guess my son thinks I know very little to suggest he could sell things he wrote, but then to suggest he give away his first publication. The topic was “hot”, which means it needed to be published quickly. He has no publishing credits that I know of, to impress a market who might want to buy this article, and if he does, he needs to navigate that Writer’s Market and find them.
I am not the “go-fer” for aspiring writers. I have always helped others when I could. That’s why I went to college to become a teacher and why I studied even more to become a reading specialist. I wrote and had some things published along the way. It wasn’t because someone looked at what I wrote and looked in the Writer’s Market and found a publisher for me. You’d be surprised how many people expect me to do that. Uh . . . I am BUSY with my own writing career. If you don’t care enough about yours to do the work that goes with it, then your writing won’t get published.
I cannot remember how many writing courses I have taken and completed to learn about the craft and business of writing. When I use something I’ve learned to try to help someone else, ridicule and rejection does not “sit well” with me.
Don’t send me things you want to publish and ask me to find a publisher. Don’t share your writing with me in hopes I can magically help you get rich.
There is no explaining to me why someone asks for advice and then not only rejects it, but makes fun of it.
I’ve had enough. If any writing is going to get looked at for publication by me, it will be my own.