Not-so Sneaky Peek

I worked on polishing the Branding 101 section of the self-editing guide today, but behind the scenes, the topic of professionalism just would not go away.

So here’s a preview from the guide, “leaked” by request:

First, there’s a vital distinction to be made, one I wish I’d understood about a decade earlier than I did: Writers and authors are not the same thing. They are not interchangeable. They are two separate, distinct jobs with their own separate, distinct job descriptions, and one must never be substituted for the other.
A writer develops and writes stories. That’s all they do. They are — and must be allowed to be — neurotic, insecure, selfish, arrogant, self-righteous, unpleasant, creative psycho-geniuses with no social skills or merits. They are the crazy aunt or uncle no one talks about or wants to make direct eye-contact with. No one likes them, not even their mothers. They should never be inflicted upon loved ones, editors or other industry professionals, or the public in general.
Authors are the Dr. Jekyll of the writer-author symbiosis. An author is a writer’s game-face, their greatest defender, and prison guard. Authors are all business. They are the public relations manager, the business manager, legal counsel, spokesmodel, agent, editor, and promoter all wrapped up in a charming, gracious and appealing package.
Anyone hoping to succeed in a ridiculously overcrowded commercial fiction marketplace needs to not only understand both roles, but excel at both, and understand that there’s a time and place for each. Witness the writer who reads a bad review of their work and makes a very public fool of themselves on a blog or retailer website, trying to argue with the reviewer. This is a classic case of someone letting their writer do an author’s job.

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One Response

  1. Here, here! (hear, hear?)

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