Rule E: publication is Earned, not rewarded
Linda’s Rules of Writing
We’re onto the letter E in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, where being published is something that is Earned.
When the military is mentioned in the media, the medals are often referred to as being “won,” which makes them sound like a prize. Soldiers earn them through the things they do.
Publication is like that.
When print on demand first took off, writers flocked to it and believed that it was their way to get what they thought was publishing “success.” Invariably, many ended up paying to get a physical copy of a bad book and selling to only family members.
I always thought POD gave the writers an excuse not to get better. (They didn’t like me much when I mentioned this.).
But I kept seeing an attitude come from them, that they’d invested all this time writing this book and now they should be rewarded for the effort. That attitude is still out there, and usually the writers with it have the most myopic view when it comes their own stories. It’s suddenly about finding the right person to get the foot in the door, not how good the story is.
Publication is earned through hard work, and sometimes a lot of it. Even today, with the more options for writers that include self-publishing, the readers’ interest still has to be earned. No one gives bonus points for effort.
What kinds of things have you changed in your writing to make it better?