Be Still My Editor

Welcome to another week of the Marketing for Romance Writers 2018 challenge. Each week we’re supposed to write a thoughtful post on the given topic. Hope you’ll stop by each Friday for our thoughts on life, writing, and our books.  Today’s topic relates to our writing craft–What is the Worst Writing Advice You’ve Received?

I could use the advice to go with publishers A, B, and C as the worst advice. That qualifies because they closed down either shortly before a contract was issued or a book released.

Instead I’ve chosen the commonly accepted maxim to “still the inner editor.” We’re told when writing not to correct typos or rearrange text. Just to dump our words as a steady stream of consciousness.

Now, authors have as many ways to create as there are books. I’m a plotter. My outlines are done more at the keyboard than paper and pen unless a computer is not available. The translation of scene notes, full scenes and dialog is usually done with paper and pen. That first draft is messy. The inner editor will number sentences and paragraphs to reflect a better order when the actual typing is done.

As writers we’re told not to even correct spelling as we type. For me, that aspect of turning off the inner editor doesn’t make sense. It takes less time to hit the backspace key once or twice to correct a typo or re-spell a word than to come back with a mouse, highlight the text, then still do the correction. Of course, if correcting while you type disrupts your train of thought that is a different story.

Another reason why I don’t silence my inner editor when I’m writing is that it reduces the risk of a typo or some stupid grammar thing slipping through the crack during the editorial phase. With less things to catch in a clean draft, there is less potential for the error to make it into the final manuscript.

 ~till next time, Helen. 


Contests and Crickets

When I saw the topic list for 2018, I knew from the start that I wouldn’t complete all 52 posts. There were just some that were either too personal or not relevant. At first I thought this week would be one. The temptation to rant would be too much. However, I decided to write a few words. If you’ve followed my blogs, especially the challenge posts, you’ll note that I tend towards darker thoughts.

First, I’d like to say I’m not a contest person. Maybe it’s my Scotch blood but I never had an interest in gambling. Spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on contest entries to me was just throwing money away. Now you could say that you are paying for exposure, or the possibility of having an award sticker on your website. That idea never held much water for me, just as I wouldn’t give away novel after novel for the privilege of exposure.

I admit that I experimented with contests as a method of promotion. It didn’t matter if it was a cover war, a reader’s contest, consideration for a publication contract, or for actual money. The result was the same.

It didn’t matter if I was with a publisher where the authors swore to assist each or the entry was as an independent author struggling against the tide. 

It didn’t matter how hard I promoted or begged for votes. The results were the same — the sound of crickets. 

Now I choose to believe that the non-existent votes were not the result of poor design or poor writing. More than one author has expressed the feeling that many contests are popularity contests. A point to note, never in my life was I the popular girl. Never the lead cheerleader standing in front of the crowds, I was the one who did the grunt work to make the event happen.

Will I ever enter another contest? Maybe. Will I ever expect to win? That answer is for me to know and you to guess. If you want to join the 2018 MFRWauthor 52-week challenge, the other topics are at

~till next time, Helen