Sunday 29 June 2008

Jane Friedman on How to Sabotage Your Writing Career

Jane Friedman is editorial director of the publishing company that produces Writer's Digest publications so she should know what she's talking about. She is pictured on the left (not on the right).

Her blog is called There are No Rules - and if you're trying to get published, it's a useful blog to track.

Jane is now up to tip number five on How to Sabotage Your Writing Career.

Here's what she says so far:
Sabotage #1: Attempt to get published too soon. Read more.

Sabotage #2: Look out for yourself too much. Read more.

Sabotage #3: Expect your publisher to market your work. Read more.

Sabotage #4: Treat online and multimedia activities as optional. Read more.

Sabotage #5: Be high maintenance. Read more.
Speaking from experience, sabotaging one's writing career is fairly easy. I think I was a great success at Sabotage #1 in my early days of trying to get published!

In the spirit of this post, I offer one handy sabotage tip (inspired by Jane's Sabotage #4):
If you're really, really determined to crash your career before it's begun, create an online presence that portrays you as amateur, annoying, boring, terrifying (there are those out there who think networking is equivalent to stalking publishers and agents online!) or ___________ (fill in blank with obnoxious or unattractive trait).
By all means, get online - but make sure there is method to your web presence.

I don't think the series is over so be sure to check (or even subscribe!) Jane's blog in the next few days.

Thanks to the Harriet Austin Writers Conference website from which I lifted the above lovely photo of Jane Friedman. The conference is on July 18-19 in Athens, Georgia.


  1. After reading you post I downloaded 'Who's afraid of the world wide web'. Very useful - thank you. Kat :-)

  2. Thanks Candy. Loads of common sense in those posts.

    It's a minefield out there - thanks for being a big signpost to us so we can avoid losing our writerly limbs!

  3. Candy: Thanks so much for recommending my blog. You have some very rich information yourself on the children's/YA industry! Cheers, Jane

  4. He he, really enjoyed reading Jane's blog, thanks to stalk someone online now...


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