Fellow writing advisor Alex Gazzola has just published his latest book in his Mistakes Writers Make series, and this third in the series is called 50 Mistakes Writers Make.
The first two books focussed on common mistakes beginner writers make. This edition considers mistakes that more experienced writers might make.
By doing this, Alex reminds us that we are never perfect writers. No matter how long we’ve been writing, or how much we’ve written or had published, we can still make mistakes. And we will continue to do so. The important point is to spot them, and learn from them. (And his entire series is designed to help you learn from them, without having to actually make them.)
In Mistake 44 (Experimentlessness) Alex refers to an article I wrote some time ago (one which I’d completely forgotten about) regarding multiple submissions. As a competition judge, I’d commented that sometimes writers enter more than one entry into a competition, but what tends to happen is that they submit similar material. My suggestion was to experiment: submit two or more different pieces. (So, if you are entering an open-themed competition, don’t send three romance stories. Instead, send one romance, one comedy and one crime. If the judge isn’t keen on romance stories you still have two other chances to win.)
Alex took this one step further and applied it to pitches for non-fiction books. I won’t spoil the result of his experimentation, suffice to say I appear to have saved the world from a book called Living with Chronic Bad Breath. (You can thank me later.)
And if you read his blog post, where he launches this third in the series, you’ll see he discusses the idea of opening up the series to other writers, with the right ideas. Why not get in touch and pitch something?
(Don’t forget Mistake 44: Experimentlessness mentioned in Book 3. Pitch some different ideas, such as 50 Travel Writing Mistakes Writers Make, 50 Interview Mistakes Writers Make and 50 Mistakes Writers With Chronic Bad Breath Make. Then again. Perhaps not.)