1. Don’t talk about writing on the internet more than you actually write off the internet.
2. Making writer friends is much more valuable in the long-term than treating everyone as your competition, especially online.
3. Your social media presence should be a reflection of who you are and what you’re interested in, not constant self-promotion.
4. Don’t ask random strangers to review your work for free, even if you do admire/respect them and their work.
5. Just … don’t ask for anything for free ever. If you want someone to pay you for your work, you have to adhere to the same standards.
6. Don’t engage with the trolls. You don’t want to be the one that feeds them.
7. Be critical of what you’re reading, but don’t insult writers directly simply because you don’t like their work.
8. Don’t tag authors in negative reviews. Please.
9. There is no such thing as a dumb question, but if you don’t immediately get the answers you want, you might be asking the wrong question.
10. If you’re angry about an outcome, a rejection, or anything negative that’s happened in your professional life, think twice before you post publicly about it. Potential clients/employers are always watching.
11. Public recognition isn’t given, it’s earned.
12. Don’t go to social media just to compare yourself to other writers. It’s not healthy, it’s not motivational, and it’s just not fun. Your only competition is yourself.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.
6 thoughts on “12 Unofficial Internet Rules All Writers Should Know”
Some good advice here, especially regarding feeding the ever-lurking online trolls!
Gosh, good advice here. Many thanks. Katie
Forgot to say, I’ve not come across any trolls but then again I just use WordPress and everyone is lovely here. Good advice about the not asking for free help. Yes, I had thought that a friend of mine who’s had two very successful books published might help me, but apart from a few words of wisdom, that was really it! Oops. I felt like that was a schoolboy error and in the end that I’d been cheeky. Katie
This is good advice.
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