In the spirit of Independence Day, I present to you [cue the fife and drum please] . . .
A Writer’s Bill of Rights
You have the right to observe, but not follow trends.
You have the right to seek a second opinion.
You have the right to ask, “What if?”
You have the right to laugh at your own writing. Hey, if you’re funny, you’re funny.
You have the right to leave your beloved critique group if it’s no longer serving its purpose.
You have the right to say no when a friend of a friend asks for feedback on her 1,000-word non-fiction picture book about the history of toe jam.
You have the right not to feel guilty if someone asks for your honest opinion and doesn’t like your response (assuming you delivered the news graciously).
You have the right to try a new genre.
You have the right to read reviews, even if everyone advises against it. (And you have the right to admit it when everyone was right.)
You have the right to think a certain author or book (or movie based on that book) is lame, even if everyone else thinks it’s the greatest thing since WiFi.
You have the right to love a certain author or book even if no one else does.
You have the right to prefer printed books to e-books (or vice versa).
You have a right to take a break from writing (or the pursuit of publication) if you need to. Plus, you have the right to not feel guilty about it.
You have the right to scrap the whole darn thing and start over.
You have the right not to participate in every form of social or digital media imaginable simply for the purpose of following the crowd.
You have the right to be selective and protective of your time.
You have the right to ignore feedback if it does not ring true to you or serve your story.
You have the right to pass on an opportunity because you know it’s not right for you, even if (and especially if) you’re feeling desperate and needy.
Did I miss any rights? If so, you, my friends, have every right to add more.
Now, go exercise your freedom!
I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind. I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression. ~ Amy Tan