Writers – and isn’t that pretty much all of us? – tend to inspire stereotypes.
Large, black-framed glasses. Pumpkin spice eeeeeeverything. Mug cozies. (Because obviously, your mug of jasmine tea needs to remain very, very hot if you want a visit from the muse.) Naturally, this is not an exhaustive list of stereotypes, but admit it, at least one of the above sounds pretty familiar.
You know self-publishing is an option for any author, fiction or nonfiction, thriller or fantasy, young adult or very adult. For obvious reasons, the prospect is appealing: skip the querying gantlet, build a business or serialize a novel, get your work out quickly, “choose yourself” rather than waiting to be chosen. All without the massive capital inputs required in the days of “vanity” publishing.
In an age where content mills churn out keyword-stuffed drivel, and anyone with a computer and half the HTML-coding skills of a chimp can call themselves a copywriter, it’s tough to stand out.
Now, you’d think it would be easy to rise above the half-chimps and the mad hordes cranking out blog posts with nine instances of the phrase “fresh beet juice Atlanta.” Surprisingly, though, it isn’t. The sheer amount of chaff on the interwebz makes the wheat hard to find, even when it’s well written.
Do You Have Shiny Object Syndrome? How to Stay Focused on a Copywriting Career (Even as You Cultivate Your Creativity)
In my experience, it’s a rare to find a creative who can stay focused on a single craft, and doesn’t enjoy multiple other art forms.
As a copywriter, I have a huge range of interests that don’t relate to my day job: I dabble in illustration and design, write fiction and play the flute (no band camp jokes, dammit), just to name a few. Other writers have myriads of other hobbies, and while this is a wonderful thing, it can hamper your ability to stay focused long enough to build a meaningful career.
It can, in other words, lead to what I have dubbed Shiny Object Syndrome.
Here’s a fun little scenario for you:
A new prospect reaches out to you, asking about your services. They’re really into you. They love your work. They think you’re so super hilarious and aren’t we perfect for each other!!!
… but they just want to make sure.
If you could just do them a teeny favor.
It’s small, don’t worry, and they’re pretty sure they’re going to go with you anyway.
So if you don’t mind, could you go ahead and send over some free freelance writing samples?
Thaaaaaaaaanx. (Said in TPS reports voice.)
Book reviews are the lifeblood of the publishing industry. Without people saying nice things about a book, it’s just not going to do very well, no matter how much marketing goes into selling that book.
As such, publishers and authors are constantly looking for reviewers, and people routinely search for reviews before they choose whether or not to buy a new release … or an old one.
With so much money flowing into the system, and with writing being one of the most obvious (but not the only) medium for a book review, it pays to know how to write one.
If you’re a writer, that is. But we’re all writers here.
If not, get out.
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