Stop Being Solitary: How Others Are The Key To Your Success As A Writer

“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own…I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.” – Former U.S. President Barack Obama

I opened this post with President Obama’s quote because it can be applied perfectly to writers. From my position as publisher and co-founder of Beautiful Losers Magazine, I have seen that some of the best poets and short fiction writers are not in The New Yorker, Granta, or The Paris Review. Of course, that is not to say that the writers featured in those magazines are not exceptional talents, because by and large they are, but only that many talented writers are never discovered by the readership of these magazines. In many cases, these writers are equals to their more established peers in creativity, knowledge of the nuances of craft, and work ethic. So why are some writers exalted and others remain in obscurity? Perhaps because no one gave them some help along the way.

Writing can be seen as a solitary profession, and to some extent it is, but there are many instances where receiving help can be the difference between success and anonymity. Here are a few ways in which others can help you along in your path as a writer:

1. Editing. Every writer needs an editor. My short fiction wouldn’t be nearly as good if my editors Rairigh Drum and Lauren Rubin didn’t examine every piece that I write and offer constructive suggestions towards improving them. The same holds true for my forthcoming book with Vakasha Brenman. Writers have a blind side when it comes to their own work. To gain an agent’s representation or get writing accepted in competitive literary magazines, working with an editor is mandatory. It’s my mission to help talented writers succeed in the literary game, and I want to help 100 writers who have never been published before have their work published. That’s why I offer editing services. If you have an unpublished manuscript that needs a thorough edit, I want to help you. You can read more about my services by clicking here.

2. Networking. Your manuscript may be well-written and edited to a publishable standard; however, that doesn’t mean that you will automatically be able to attract an agent’s interest and be on the fast track to a contract with a big publisher. If you are completely divorced from the network of writers, voracious readers, agents, and publishers, you are missing a golden opportunity to advance. Forming friendships with other writers, influential readers, or those involved in the business of literature can have immense benefits, not the least of which is putting your manuscript before a person in a decision-making position.

3. Inspiration. It happens to all of us, we start writing and hit a wall. Our mood drops, the ideas stop coming, and the frustration sets in. This is where friends, family, and romantic partners come in. The next time your writing hits a wall, get connected with others, and watch how easy the words will come to you when you resume your writing.

What other benefits do you find from turning to others? Comment below to share your thoughts.

If you found this post helpful, please like, comment, repost, or subscribe to my blog – all are appreciated!

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25% Discount on Editing Services for Students, U.S. Active/Retired Military, The Disabled, and Native Americans

Are you serious about moving forward as a writer? If so, you’re going to need to hire an editor. For all my readers who’ve found my posts valuable, I invite you to work with me on your manuscript. Furthermore, I offer a 25% discount to the following groups:

Students

Whether you’re in high school, college, or graduate school, if you’re currently enrolled as a student, yet still pursuing your writing career, I applaud your initiative and recognize that funds can be tight. That’s why I offer a 25% discount to all students.

U.S. Military

Many of my family members and friends are serving or have served in the U.S. military. The courage and sacrifice of these brave men and women should be rewarded. That’s why I offer a 25% discount to members of all branches of the armed forces, both active and retired.

The Disabled

The ability to persevere despite challenges is one of the best character traits a person can have, and instantly worthy of respect. To that end, I offer a 25% discount to all disabled individuals.

Native Americans

My grandmother donated to Native American charities her entire life. It’s a family tradition for us to respect the cultures of the Native American groups of this country. That being so, I offer a 25% discount on all services to any Native American.

To work with me, simply send an email here. To learn more about my copy editing, line editing, developmental editing, and critique services, click here.

Happy Labor Day – Save Some Labor

First of all, happy Labor Day!

This is a quick post about a new service I’m offering: proofreading writers’ manuscripts. For only $10 per 1,000 words (so, for example, $250 for a 25,000 word short story collection), you can get your self-published (or attempting to be traditionally published, your call) manuscript completely free of errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, formatting, and consistency. If you’re a student or active or retired U.S. military, I’ll offer you a 25% discount on the total price. If you’re interested, just let me know with an email by clicking here. Thanks for spreading the word!

Coming Soon – Interview with KD McGregor, Author of Backs Against The Wall

I had the pleasure to edit Backs Against The Wall, the debut novel of KD McGregor, a talented indie writer. KD has agreed to be interviewed by The Literary Game to discuss his perspective on many issues of importance to aspiring writers. We’ll have the interview up soon.

In the meantime, I highly recommend that anyone interested in a fast-paced, gritty, character and plot-driven work of fiction pick up a copy of KD’s book, now available on Amazon. Click here to purchase a copy (free for users of Kindle Unlimited).

If you too are looking for an affordable novel editor, please click here.

Editing for Aspiring Writers – First Chapter Free

Hi Friends,

It’s been a while.

First of all, my last post, the one from April 1st, was a practical joke…kind of. I have been brought on to assist an amazing new startup as their writer, and as such will be penning an excellent series of books. I will keep everyone posted with more information, as it becomes available to share.

However, I am still working as an editor.

I want to share with my readers an amazing new offer: I will edit your first chapter (up to 2500 words) for free. There’s no opportunity for buyer’s remorse. If you don’t think my work is good, you don’t have to move forward with me, but I’m sure that you will when you see how effective my editing is at bringing your vision to the page.

Please feel free to click here, or email me at alfonsowrites at gmail dot com to book my services or learn more.

As always. thanks for spreading the word by sharing this post on WordPress, or your social media. 🙂

-Alfonso

Writers Need Editors

There’s absolutely no question about it: writers need editors.

I love writing poetry, fiction, and screenplays. It’s a lot of fun. It’s what I love to do. It’s why I do what I do.

I hate editing. Well, let me be more specific, I hate editing my own writing. I hate editing my own writing because it’s very difficult to view my own writing objectively. Sure, I can do a copy edit, but invariably, it will need quite a bit more to make it, well, good enough to publish.

Most writers, myself included, after completing their first draft have the delusion that they’ve created a masterpiece. They couldn’t be further off.

I’ve been lucky to work with two close friends who have helped me edit my poetry and fiction. Without them, I wouldn’t have published any of my poetry or fiction, and I wouldn’t have had a script solid enough worth registering with the WGA East.

I know it is disheartening to see an editor skewer your writing, but it’s the only way that you can actually grow as a writer. If you are serious about growing as a writer, you need to swallow your pride, and work with a skilled editor who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear (because no draft will be perfect, or even close, and mere copy-edits aren’t enough to get your writing published.)

I’ve worked hard to grow from an aspiring writer to an emerging writer. I received A LOT of rejections along the way. It was humiliating. It felt like I was in front of a firing squad. I had to swallow my pride, realize I wasn’t able to do it on my own, and work with some great editors. I started making HUGE strides. I started getting to know many writers doing similar things and forming close professional relationships with them, I started having people legitimately compliment my work, and, of course, I started seeing my name in reputable, competitive, literary journals.

I couldn’t do it on my own, and neither can you, or any writer for that matter. I’ve been through the wringer, and come out on the other side, and I know for a fact that without a top editor for your fiction, poetry, screenplays, or any form of creative writing, your work is going NOWHERE. As a result of my experiences, I want to help you grow as a writer, and help you edit your writing, so that you can advance in your literary career. I may be myopic when it comes to my own writing (as all writers are), but I can guarantee you that if you choose to hire me as an editor, you’ll learn firsthand what a top editor can do for your fiction.

To sum it up: I couldn’t do it on my own as a writer. I needed to work with some of the best fiction editors around to get things going. Any writer can do the same with a dedicated, critical editor.