I love when authors ask me my opinion on things – like getting published, genre writing, etc. Mostly because they’re usually surprised by my answers. I tend to give black sheep advice, but that’s nothing new – it’s how I’ve approached everything in my life.
“Should I self-publlish?” Not if you can help it.
“I was told to break my 150,000 word novel in half.” Only if it works better that way.
“I heard ____ isn’t selling and that I should write in ____ genre instead.” You should write what your heart desires.
The thing is, the key to success is to do what you love. I believe this with a passion. So, if something gets to the point where you’re merely following rules and guidelines to become successful you’re no different from every other sheep in the flock. (herd? bunch?)
I’ve only been in this industry 3 years and I already have a trail of people I’ve upset. It’s not something I’m proud of. But the only way to keep everyone happy is to never move forward or do something different. What does your instinct tell you? Do you feel with everything in your heart the advice you’re getting is wrong? Then ignore it.
What genre should you write? You should write the story that’s in you.
Should you join a critique group? Most critique groups do more damage than good. If you can find a great one, hold onto it with dear life.
Should you join writing workshops? See above. Most of them are just there to make money for the person hosting it or to give them exposure. Very few offer something you can’t find for free online and on your own time.
Should you read? YES! Authors who say they don’t have time to read have no business writing. This is the #1 way to develop your craft. If you want to be worth something, then read and read everything.
Okay – what’s my point? My point is that doing my own thing has worked for me and doing your own thing will not only work for you, but will make you happier. And being happier resonates in all aspects of your life, including your career. Success will soon follow and to hell with the naysayers.
Be a black sheep. Be a happy proud black sheep!