Yesterday was my regular contribution to Writer Unboxed. I discussed how some independent authors are putting their work out there with zero professional help. Here’s a snippet:
Working with professionals should challenge you. It should raise the bar. You’ll probably feel some doubts about the quality of your work. This is a good thing. Professionals usually understand and build off your strengths, and minimize the appearance of your weaknesses.
One of first things I teach my writing students is you need someone you trust to push you—to tell you where things aren’t working. Most people don’t have that gift of being so distant from their work that they can see objectively where it’s succeeding or failing. Even the writers who DO have that power usually have decades of experience and self-knowledge—from being pushed.
Yes, my argument does mean: To develop to your maximum potential, you need someone to create a little discomfort.
Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has nearly 25 years of experience in the media & publishing industry. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.
In addition to being a professor with The Great Courses (How to Publish Your Book), she is the author of The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), which received a starred review from Library Journal.
Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as Digital Book World and Frankfurt Book Fair, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.