Saturday, February 16, 2013

Key to Failure in Writing

Proud As A Peacock
I loved the Dixie Chicks. Their sound crossed the line between old-time country and the contemporary. The use of the fiddle, the guitar work, the entire package worked for these classically trained musicians. Perhaps success came too easy for them and handed them their key to failure.

They should have understood their genre. Country fans love the USA and conservative values (mixed too frequently with whiskey and guns...but I digress). Repeatedly, the group bashed the United States.

No public feud breeds good publicity. The Chicks constantly bashed their colleague Toby Keith.

They'd be caught in a transgression, chastised, then apologize and repeat their errors. They thought they were too good to fail. But it wasn't true.

Perhaps the same could have been said about  Lindsay Lohan, Oscar Pistorius, Lance Armstrong, Rehoboam, Absalom and Saul--to name a few.
Hans Holbein d. J. - The Arrogance of Rehoboam...
Hans Holbein d. J. - The Arrogance of Rehoboam - WGA11598 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What they suffer from, destroys our chances of a successful writing career.  

How? So glad you asked. It could probably be summed up in the battle cry:

 "What do they know?"

Have you given place to any of the following?
  • several critique partners say something doesn't work. You reply, "What do they know?"
  • too much is marked up in your sample critique, so you discard the whole thing.
  • an editor wants you to change something--maybe a scene a bit too graphic for your audience. If you refuse, you are asking, "What do you know? You, of course, have a better handle on it.
  • you're so good, you have no need to spend good money on courses--and what do the free ones, like those offered at ACFW have to offer? You know the material as well as the teacher.
  • which brings me to the next point--you tell the instructor what he/she is doing wrong--how much more successful your way is.
  • since God gave you the story, any changes will ruin the message--maybe even bring down His wrath on the one who refuses to accept it.
  • you refuse to enter contests and see what seasoned authors and editors have to say because one judge, one time, was harsher than necessary.
I hate to say this, but I'm a good one for publicizing my foibles, I've been guilty of much of this. Do you know of any I've missed? (Of course, not about me--but useful for the general writing population.)
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  1. How about: "You get a stinging review"? It's real easy to say "What do they know?" with that one :)

    Thanks for the post, Carol. Enjoyed it.

    1. Oh yeah. I haven't been fortunate enough to be published, but I've seen books I've loved get panned by someone else. If we're going to put ourselves out there, we have to develop thick skins.

  2. I like your posts, Carol; interesting and spot on!

    1. Thank you. And unfortunately, I write what I know best. Blush.