from FundsforWriters, Volume 16, Issue 14
I write mystery, so that means I'm reading and researching sites, blogs, and books by cops, agents, and private investigators to make my work more authentic. However, in reading a PI site (Diligentia Group), I found the following post about lessons learned over the years as an investigator. I wasn't three items into it before I saw these lessons could be applicable to writers.
- Always be learning. Learn by doing and observing others.
- Know thyself. Know your strengths and where you need help, and don't be shy about either.
- Differentiate yourself. Don't be ordinary. Create a brand.
- Authenticity. Being genuine and authentic is very attractive these days when the world is wrought with fake and "Buy my book."
- Stick to your principles. Be honest and straightforward. Protect your reputation.
- Be helpful. Good things happen when you lend a helping hand.
- Don't be everything to everyone. Pick your genre, find your readership base, and avoid trying to write for every reader out there.
- Do work you are proud of. If you write slow, so be it. If you write Christian, erotica, YA; whatever the style, voice and genre, own it.
- You are never the smartest or dumbest person in the room. Ask questions. Learn more. Help others do the same.
- Don't stop thinking of new ideas. You're in a creative environment, and change is happening all around you. Be constantly seeking ways to be unique.
- Adapt. This industry changes fast. Roll with that change.
- Embrace technology. Yes, that means learning ways to publish, brand, and network, whether you like it or not.
- Follow the facts. Make decisions or form opinions based upon fact, not rumors, gossip, innuendos, or half-truths.
- Be inspired. Be aware of the world around you.
- Do great work. Don't shortchange the quality of your writing.
- Be skeptical. Operate with a critical eye. Don't fall for the latest class, how-to, software, or book that claims to teach you the perfect way to [fill in the blank].
- Persistence. Probably the most important of the list, persistence carries you through those times when you think you should not be writing.
Amazing the similarity, huh?
Thanks ~ Hope
C. Hope Clark is a freelance writing expert, author of the award-winning Carolina Slade Mystery Series, and the Edisto Island Mystery Series, and editor of FundsforWriters.com, a weekly newsletter service that reaches 40,000+ writers. Learn more at her website chopeclark.com