Right Now Writer’s Job Description – December Gephart

24 Feb

Writing job description as I see it: 
Keep my eyes and ears open, and my mouth shut. 
And don’t hit send.  Not yet.

Think you know everything?  Are you bold enough to stick your neck out, and send that query letter?  Are you self confidant, believe every word you write is amazing, beautiful, true poetry? 

Sure it is! 

Now…  sit your fanny back down.  Tuck that brilliant query letter, that heartbreaking synopsis, and those first chapters away for a few months.  Work on the next one. 

Do some more research on the art of writing.  Re-read craft books, go to a few conferences.  Keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth shut.  Soak it in.  Learn.

Find tools that help you in your agent search. 
Dig deep, who do they rep, look at that author’s career.  Watch the editor and agent blogs.  See how they poke gentle fun at people who don’t pay attention?  Thank your lucky stars, that could have been you.

Read a bunch more novels in the genre you’re writing.  Pick them apart, get out a pen and post it flags, highlight what you like, flag what you don’t.  Figure out WHY.  Try to make it happen in your own work.

Join a bunch of writing groups where they talk about the industry, the individual struggle.  Get excited for someone who got the call!  Share they’re joy, and don’t you dare think “ha, my stuff is better then that.” 
Because it isn’t.

Now…  six months later.  Open that piece back up.  Slice and dice.  Edit, redo it, revise it.  Make it sing.  Shift around scenes to make the biggest punch.  Cut beloved scenes.  Force yourself to make it run faster, jump higher, turn on a dime.  Don’t give up.  Now is the time to put all that extra knowledge into play.  All the information you soaked up, letting others talk and keeping your own mouth shut, now you get to act!

Find yourself a trusted critique partner, or a critique group you trust. 
Do they give you helpful suggestions?  Do they make you sweat, or even cringe a little with their honesty?  Do they do it because they CARE about your writing?  Do they believe in you, and push you to be a better writer?  Yes?  Then share your work.  Make it a masterpiece. 

And after that?  Take a deep breath.  And hit send.

9 Responses to “Right Now Writer’s Job Description – December Gephart”

  1. Mercedes February 24, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Wise, wise, wise.

  2. rileyquinn February 24, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Great advice!

  3. December February 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    BRILLIANT!! Why isn’t this girl published?! lol!

  4. briaq February 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    LOl – Ok, I can honestly say, I have to “take a deep breath” like every 30 mins at this point.

    Thanks December!

  5. Michelle February 24, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    I can’t wait to see you published one day soon!

  6. carlycarsonwriter February 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    This is great advice. Hard to follow because patience is not my strong suit. But I agree with it.

  7. Julie February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Wise advice. Thank you.

  8. roro February 24, 2010 at 9:19 pm #


  9. Tami March 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    *laughs* I love this > “Do some more research on the art of writing”

    Finishing a book does not a published author make! Great advice. =]

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