Here’s an actual email telling you to QUIT WRITING if you didn’t get selected for what I’m calling “BULLSHIT CONTEST.” (Part 1 was yesterday. Warning: This is an exercise in sarcasm and parody, so don’t take any of it too seriously. Undies = to remain unbunched.)
First, don’t quit writing, ever.
Second, join any freaking contest you want, including the next one these disgusting people are hosting. Buyer beware.
Contests are designed to gain favor for the hosting party. Always. The Florida lottery MAKES money, okay?
Here’s some REALLY BAD ADVICE about people who played the BULLSHIT CONTEST game. (Yes, I changed the name of the contest, to be nice; the bad judges don’t know about that kind of thing – being nice. Read about how these bozos attacked me IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR CONTEST.) I hope you didn’t get this email/blog post, and if you did, I hope you disregard its bad advice:
“I feel the dust is still settling after this years (sic – typo! These are writer types, people! They work with words and they profess to help you and guide you but they can’t get their first sentence out without a mistake. See a problem?)”
Let’s start again.
“I feel the dust is still settling after this years BULLSHIT CONTEST, and what a year it’s been. There were over one thousand entrants, and from them, 125 were picked to be…”
Let’s stop there.
This thing is a dud.
If you work people over for a few months and only get 1,000 entries, you don’t know how to run a contest. (This wasn’t their first rodeo; it’s an annual thing.) With close to 100 judges, that means each of these amazing, famous, well-connected judges needed to only bring about a hundred people to the table. I expected 10,000 entrants. Honest. At least 5,000.
Why couldn’t they do that?
Let’s look at the judges. A quick review shows:
QUITE A FEW JUDGES HAD ONLY A FEW HUNDRED TWITTER FOLLOWERS
Many judges had less than 1000 followers.
More than half of the judges have less than 2,000 followers.
Folks, my friend’s dog has more than 2,000 followers. If you don’t, that’s okay – you’re probably not trying to be a judge in a big contest where you profess to be connected and know all and be all to the starry eyed ones.
These are allegedly published authors who would profess to teach you how to be successful.
Those are not great numbers, folks.
More about the judges:
MANY OF THESE “AUTHOR” JUDGES DID NOT HAVE EVEN A BOOK PUBLISHED!
Some had 1 book, and of those, most had very few reviews.
A few judges – very few, in my opinion – had multiple books published and decent Twitter followings and probably make good money as an author. (One of those was a mini-bully in the fight, too, so you know she’s big time.)
So let’s call it what it is. Most of these judges have less experience writing books than the contest promoter wants you to believe; most of the judges have less experience than the people they want to “tutor.” (Tutor MY word; theirs is much worse, in my opinion.) They all have agents (Hmmm… strange coincidence), and folks, so can you, but you don’t have to dance like a monkey to get an agent. You don’t need an agent to get published by a traditional publisher. Oops, did I let a cat out of the bag? Sorry, BULLSHIT CONTEST.
Fine. Again, buyer beware.
Back to the letter:
“…while I wasn’t involved in BULLSHIT CONTEST in any way this year, working on… (name of OTHER WEBSITE OR BLOG) meant that I was very aware of the mayhem going on behind the scenes.”
Miriam Webster says Mayhem is: actions that hurt people and destroy things
You can’t make this shit up, folks!
Let’s try this statement again with the actual, definition in there:
“I was very aware of the actions that hurt people going on behind the scenes.”
Remember yesterday when I discussed how they dogpiled on me and tried to trash me? CLICK HERE to see the online assault you can expect from the judges if you act up.
Now, they are wordsmiths, so let’s look at that second part of that statement: behind the scenes. Does that mean things the judges were doing to hurt people? Because I think we know they were (Damn screen shots!). Oops. Freudian slip? Did we accidentally tell the truth? Ooooops!
The letter continues, and I’ll delete some/a lot stuff for brevity:
“Obviously, not everyone could be picked. So as the molecules drift to the ground, I have a couple of things I’d like to say…
It’s all right to feel like poopers… You got all excited and now that you didn’t get picked…
… you can be angry with yourself…
It’s all right to quit.
Yep. It really is… It really is okay to feel as though you don’t want to write anymore.
…at some point, but you have to have to have to move on.
…you’re going to be rejected many, many times…”
Now, for each of these terrible statements, or most of them, she eventually says don’t quit. I’ve used her words here (but I may have, here and there, done it a little out of context for emphasis and effect, unlike what the judges did to me, which was flat out lying, in my opinion.)
Here’s what I say.
NEVER give up your dream, not for a day, no for an hour, not for a minute.
The person who QUITS FOREVER started by quitting for just one minute or one day, didn’t they?
Maybe that’s the fucking difference between a person who’s gone to President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies and had a dozen published books in 14 countries and 12 languages and a few bestsellers, versus a person with about 3,300 Twitter followers and 1 book… about vampires.
(Hey, she’s young, I think; and ya gotta start somewhere. Plus, she was already smart enough to move on from the bullshit contest. She’ll be outselling me one day, I bet, because I believe she has drive.)
And that is my point.
If you want to join contests, have at it. Don’t EVER sacrifice your dignity to do so. That’s what the bad judges didn’t understand. That’s where they went wrong. Your book doesn’t get better because you bought a judge’s book or subscribed to their blog.
Approach your writing like a business. When you query an agent or enter a contest or whatever, give it your best, but be working on the NEXT query and the NEXT agent and the NEXT contest and the NEXT book and your BLOG and your PLATFORM.
There’s this very successful lady you may have heard of, Oprah. She had this interview-style TV show, and the competing networks kept bringing out talk shows to go against her. Each time they did, she said, “We gotta up our game” NOT “It’s okay to quit” – like vampire author lady just did.
Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst, and always have a plan B – as in, always be writing the next book. That is far more likely to get you success. If somebody professes to be an author but runs 4 contests a year and writes 1 book every two years, are they a writer or a paid promoter? And is that who you want to take writing advice from?
It’s okay to sell products, but why can’t people just be honest? When I want to sell you something, I’m very up front about it: Buy Poggibonsi when it comes out, please. See?
I got great advice from successful published authors (trad and indie) with many, many bestsellers and zillions of books sold. They helped me because I asked for help.
YOU can get advice from good people who actually want to help you.
I may know of a few.