In today’s tips about nurturing your personal brand, I’d like to share with you some more tips that I hope you’ll find useful to your career as a writer.
16. Try Not to Hold a Grudge
Have you ever been in a situation where another writer said something nasty about you? What about a project that you’ve worked on for years but never got paid? It is extremely easy to get into situations where two people engage in grudge matches, especially when one (or the other) party ceases communication.
There is no magic bullet to avoiding a grudge with someone because sometimes, there is a legitimate reason why someone would feel the way they do. I try very hard to keep open lines of communication as much as possible and (while some people don’t) I do believe in resolving serious issues face-to-face or on the phone whenever possible. My philosophy is that life is way too short to be miserable. Grudges, unfortunately, affect more than just the two parties involved. Resolve your differences, even if you “agree to disagree” so you can remain a professional.
17. Engage in Friendly Competition
Writing can be very competitive, so why not turn that into a fun activity? Have a writing “word count” contest with your peers or generate some friendly “plot seed” competitions to spark your creativity. If you’re a very competitive person, sometimes the answer to satisfying your natural tendency is to look for healthy ways to compete with your peers in a friendly way rather than alienate them.
Unhealthy competition can be pretty dangerous because you can open yourself up to a lot of criticism — especially if you target other writers in your field. The thing to keep in mind about competition is that it’s natural to wonder if you’re “better” than another writer. That thought used to hit me when I was a lot younger, but I’ve since learned it’s pretty silly to think that way. There are PLENTY of writing opportunities to go around. Even if you wrote four books a year, think about how many are released through publishers every month!
18. Keep in Mind Editing is a Separate Skill
Did you know that there are as many forms of editing as there are writing styles? If you ask ten different people what editing is, they’ll probably tell you ten, different things. From content editing to proofreading, editing encompasses a broad range of skills that require a sharp eye.
I like to think about editing in this fashion: If a writer creates content, it’s an editor’s job to polish the content so it shines. It’s often very hard for a writer to edit his (or her) own work for that reason. Sometimes, you’re just too much in love with the words you’ve written to be able to see errors.
For more about editing, you can read these previous posts I had written:
- Dos and Don’ts of Editing Fiction Professionally
- Content Editing versus Copy Editing
- Editing 101: What is an Editor?
- Challenges with Over-editing Your Work
19. Write What You Enjoy Writing
Have you ever gotten a gift that you absolutely hated? Were you enthusiastic about what you received? As any writer will tell you, sometimes it’s really hard to focus on assignments that are an absolute chore to complete. When you’re happy writing what you want to write, you’ll not only end up writing more than what you had originally intended, the quality will often be better as a result. That’s a product any writer can be proud of!
20. Read Blogs, Books by Other Writers
One of the ways that you can keep in touch with other writers is to support what they’re working on. From blogs to novels, I can’t stress enough how invaluable it is to read other publications. Staying on top of book trends or blogs can help foster discussion, provide you with a basis for better decision-making, help you brainstorm and more!
I find that reading books and blogs by other writers helps ensure that I have multiple perspectives on topics, which is essential to intelligent decision-making for anything I do in business. These multiple perspectives ensure that I’m optimistic and realistic about my writing and how I approach myself as a “brand.”