I suppose this applies to people working in just about any field, but I’m working on being a writer so this is how I’ll talk about it. You can’t do it alone. Yeah, the writing part, probably should be doing that alone, but even then you need help. How do you get better if you don’t get input from other people? Beginner, intermediate, or master classes are always a good idea. Feedback on your writing will make you a better writer, just don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve. If you need improvement, it’s not a personal put-down. It’s just what it is. Let other people help.
Resource help can come from classes, online forums, or books. (Thank you Christopher and Allison, I’m reading through my gift and enjoying it!) Bone up on the basics. I’ve read a lot of poorly punctuated writing lately and that hurts the work. Post your work somewhere where you’ll get safe feedback and be ready for what you get. Don’t assume the worst, it’s a wonderful feeling when people you don’t know have good things to say about your writing.
And what do you do when you’ve worked that piece to death and it’s ready for the world? Big decision time. Find an agent, start shooting out submissions, print it yourself? You have to talk to people. Find out the pros and cons about all your options. You could be walking away from the perfect scenario by not asking. Find someone you trust to bounce business questions off of. Have someone, preferably a lawyer or someone well versed in legalese, read through contracts with you. Get feedback on pricing, distribution, and marketing. You’re not just a writer now, you’re an industry. Yes, we all long for the days of publishing companies doing it all, but we have to put our glasses back on and get to work.
It’s just amazing how many people we depend upon along the way. Some come to us as gifts from God, others we have to search out. It takes a village, apparently. I’m so grateful for all the people I know I can go to for help and direction. In the end, the decisions are mine, but having good counsel takes a load of pressure off my little brain. I’m the first one to admit that I can’t do it alone.