Rule N: Never look desperate when it comes to writing

Linda’s Rules of Writing

Close up of a little dog stand on hind legs and begging, against a red background
Begging is cute on a dog, most of the time anyway, but smacks of desperation from a writer.

We’re onto the letter N in Linda’s Rules of Writing of the A to Z Challenge, and it’s never to look desperate.  Sort of like Gibb’s rule to never apologize.

This one was inspired by a review request I got.  The writer was emailing me blindly because I had a blog.  He didn’t notice I didn’t do book reviews, nor did he notice what I read, nor did he notice how to spell my name correctly.  Honestly, Linda Adams — is that hard to spell?!

Desperation comes in many forms.  It’s the writer begging for reviews like above.  It’s the writer spamming strangers on Twitter. It’s the writer slipping a manuscript under a bathroom stall to the agent inside.  It’s the writer willing to lie to an agent to get what is needed.

It’s tough getting published, and there’s a lot of competition.  Only about 5 percent get an agent’s interest and 1 percent of that gets to a publisher.  It is enough to make people desperate to be seen.  But if the story doesn’t work, fancy tricks aren’t going to sell it.  Desperation just plain looks bad.

What’s your gripe about desperate writers?

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