Friday, January 8, 2016

Heinlein's Rules: What They Mean to Me

Inspired by Dean Wesley Smith's latest blog series, I have explored what each of Robert A. Heinlein's business rules for writing mean to me going froward into 2016.

Each little blurb below may come off kind of harsh, as this is me getting on my own ass about things. :)

To sum it all up in one line, they basically come off as: "Write it, get it done,and get it out there."  But to go a little more in-depth...

1. You must write. 
-- So do it!  Publishing (formatting, marketing, etc.) is not as important as writing.  Meet the quota! 
-- Deliberating on what to write isn’t important.  Moving forward is. It will all be written, shouldn’t matter which comes first.

2. You must finish what you write. 
-- This means getting to all those things yet unfinished, unpublished, and wanting to be rewritten.  But don’t spend too much time on them!  They don’t have to be perfect, they need to be DONE!  
-- Also means FOCUS and get shit done, stop bouncing, stop day dreaming, stop making excuses.

3. Don’t rewrite except to editorial demand. 
-- 2.5 draft system.  1st draft. Revise for misspellings, name changes, minor details (2nd draft).  Submit for copyediting, fix those tidbits (2.5 draft).  DONE.
-- Stop making tiny changes, rewriting, republishing, make tiny changes, rewrite, repub, etc.  PUBLISH IT AND BE DONE.

4. Submit to the markets and/or publish it.
-- If it’s a short, submit it until you exhaust your chances, then pub it yourself. 
-- Only go for semi-pro and pro – don’t wait a year pubbing to shit no one will read and you won’t get paid for. (Sorry little mags, but I feel I've gone to the next step at this point.)
-- Or, if the opportunity comes to add it and pub it yourself (due to timing, collection, etc.) and it doesn’t look like it’s going to make it in the “big leagues” just publish the damn thing.  Get it out there, add it to the shelves.  Cast that net, cast that fishing line into the water.  Don’t hold it back for whatever reason. Can't catch any fish if the line ain't cast.
-- Don’t sit on shit.  It’s not doing anything while sitting on my lap top.  CAST THAT FISHING LINE, THROW THAT NET IN THE WATER.

5.  Keep submitting until published.  For self-publishing, leave it up and available.
-- Keep submitting until you run out of good markets.  Once this is exhausted, pub it yourself.
-- Don’t UNPUB (as I have done).  Go FORWARD not BACKWARD. 
-- Don't go exclusive (like with Amazon).  Leave it up on as many markets as available.


Good ideals to keep in mind.  I have high goals for this year.  Let's get started! 

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