In recent months, I've gotten lots of email from strangers.Sadly, many of them aren't offering discount pharmaceuticals or free internet porn.
They're asking for advice. From me.
Let's all pause and shudder together over how terrifying that is. Then let's spend a moment thinking about how our group shudder was a little like an orgy.
Where was I?
Advice. Right. Strangers have been contacting me via email, Twitter, Facebook, and in one terrifying instance, rabid courier pigeon, to seek advice on writing, querying, publishing, critiquing, and providing oral stimulation without messing up your lipstick.
I might have made up that last one.
I try to answer the questions as competently and patiently as I can, but it takes a big chunk of time. Time I should be spending on things like edits and blog posts and plotting my next book and googling for naked pictures of George Clooney.
Whenever possible, I refer people to existing articles and web links. If someone asks how to query, I tell them to call in sick to work, log on to agent Janet Reid's Query Shark, and read every single post in her archives before even considering querying. If someone's struggling to find beta readers or critique partners, I refer them to The Water Cooler at Absolute Write or suggest getting involved with their local chapter of Romance Writers of America or Mystery Writers of America or whatever group happens to represent their genre.
I might also refer them to blog posts I've written about certain subjects, because as I mentioned yesterday, I'm very lazy.
Still, I'm thinking I should get smarter about this. What if I assembled a collection of the most common questions I'm asked, and created a document or a page on my website offering up all the best links, tidbits of advice, and general suggestions? An FAQ of sorts, only with more penis jokes. Then when I get one of those messages, I could offer up the great big list of answers.
What do you guys think? If I do decide to assemble something like that, what would you like to see me address? Have there been any posts I've written here that you think should be included in a writer FAQ? Please share your thoughts!
Oh, and in the spirit of sharing, I wanted to pass along two of the best writer links I've seen in recent months. The first is a post written by my agency sistah, Kiersten White, offering a collection of Do This, Don't Do That tips for new authors. The second is an amazing post by author Chuck Wendig suggesting 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing Right F**king Now. Both offer much smarter advice than I could ever give you, and I encourage writers at all career stages to check them out.
So what do you think of my questions? You've already forgotten them now, right? I probably should have put them at the bottom of this post instead of a couple paragraphs above. See, this is why you shouldn't ask me for advice.
Except that I can use copy/paste, so all hope isn't lost. Here you go again:
What do you guys think? If I do decide to assemble something like that,
what would you most like to see me address? Have there been any posts
I've written here that you think should be included in a writer FAQ?
Please let me know what you think!