Today I’m blogging on some of the tips I picked up from the “Do as I Say, Not as I Did” Workshop given by Mindy Klasky and Maria V. Snyder during RWA’s 2010 Conference.
- What are some mistakes these presenters made in the start of their career?
- Choosing critique groups that didn’t work for them. Make sure to choose a group that is more than just a social network. The members should provide constructive criticism, not flowery praise or (god forbid) nasty comments.
- Rewriting and revising the first three chapters over and over, rather than moving on to the more difficult parts (like the middle).
- Not doing enough research on agents. Visit the Predators and Editors website to make sure any agent you query is legitimate. Find out whether the agent represents clients in your genre. Has he or she sold anything recently?
- Keeping an agent that wasn’t working for them. If you have an agent and feel like things aren’t working, don’t second-guess yourself. You know in your gut what’s right.
- Becoming best friends with an editor. Don’t become too familiar with your editor. She’s a business partner, not a best friend.
- Not following up on social media. Find a social media routine and stick to it.
- What are some things you can do to advance your career?
- When you find a good critique partner, hold on to them.
- Make sure you are confident in your choice of agent. Don’t just sign with the first agent who wants to represent you. Since your agent is in effect a business partner, he or she must be a good fit.
- Be friendly but professional with all of your business contacts.
- If you end up getting a new editor, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Communication is key.
- Don’t take on any more promotional opportunities than you can adequately manage, including social media like Twitter and Facebook.
So what about those of you who have agents or are published? Do you have any tips for starting or advancing a writing career? Anything you can strongly caution against?