Home » Writing » Honesty is the Best Policy… hopefully!

Honesty is the Best Policy… hopefully!

Photo by Scott on Flickr

Photo by Scott on Flickr

I was going to post today about how I was starting to get very nervous about releasing my books. Excited but nervous!

Then I was reading over a few advice articles about blogging as a writer and some of the advice was not to post about the struggles you have as a writer. How we shouldn’t post too honestly.

…Whoops!

All I have done is post honestly about my journey as a writer πŸ˜€

So, why did they advise against it? Because it might give potential readers a little reservation about reading your book if they think you struggled to write it.

I suppose that makes sense, but then, what’s the point in blogging about my writing if I’m not going to be honest about it?

Yes, I have been worried about my writing, I have had trouble with some aspects and posted about that. But the incredible support I have had from fellow bloggers and writers has got me through those times. I couldn’t have got as far as I have without the support of this writing community.

Also, if I didn’t worry about my writing, then I wouldn’t strive to better myself and my craft. And that, after all, is very important. If I didn’t look over my work and think about it critically, worrying about every detail and word, then I don’t think I would get very far.

Just because I don’t go around bragging about my writing, doesn’t mean I’m not proud of it! πŸ˜€ I like my stories, and I do think my ability is strong. I just struggle sometimes, as everyone else does. I struggle, I ask for advice (which you guys are nice enough to give!), and then I overcome, grow and learn. In the end my writing is better for being honest.

In the end, I hope if potential readers stumble on this blog, they will read about the hard work, heart and soul that went into my writing, and how I want to produce the absolute best writing and stories for others to read. I hope they will appreciate that and be encouraged to read my works because of that πŸ™‚

So, not posting honestly is advice I am going to have to ignore. This blog is an honest account of my journey to self-publishing my books. Warts and all!

Do you like honest blog posts from writers? Do you post about your struggles as a writer?

Progress Report

Publishing status:
> Stolen- Final read out. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, formatting, marketing).
> The Queen’s Jester- Final edits. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, final read-out, formatting, marketing).
> Third Manuscript- Final edits. (Still to do: Cover, blurb, formatting, marketing).

May E-Book Review: Reading.

129 thoughts on “Honesty is the Best Policy… hopefully!

  1. No, no! I appreciate honesty, otherwise if everyone wrote about the highs of writing, one would think that the lows were unnatural and therefore would breed a spirit of ‘not good enough’ and immense depression. So write on Harliqueen – share the dips and bends and by golly, I’ll enjoy the ride of wonderful perfect-non-perfection with you πŸ˜€

    • You’re exactly right! If we all posted about how great we did, then when we struggled we might think we were awful writers, when in truth, everyone struggles!

      I’m glad you’re along for the ride, I think it will be a bumpy one πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  2. Honesty is the best thing about Blogging. I think Blogging and marketing your writing are two very different things. Big name writers have spoken and written about their doubts and struggles which gives us all a little boost. I’m honest on my blog and feel all the better for it. So I say ‘Honesty Rocks’

    • Honesty does rock! πŸ˜€ I totally agree. I don’t like when writers try to shove their book in my face, I would much rather find out about them and learn about their writing, then it’s more likely I will pick up their book.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  3. I see no reason at all why you shouldn’t write about trials and tribulations of being a writer. There are so many ‘rules’ about writing, most of them unhelpful. Writing should be about expressing what you want. The only point the person who gave that ‘advice’ might have is that writing about trials and tribs might be boring for non-writers, but then non-writers would be unlikely to read writers’ blogs. Far worse are writers who blog to boast of their successes!

    • You’ve hit the nail on the head exactly. It’s nice to connect and follow other writers who are all in the same boat, and help each other out. All those ‘rules’ don’t count for nothing, we all need to follow our own path and discover ourselves as writers, and I enjoy when people are willing to talk about the downs as well as the ups πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  4. I’m in the same oopsie boat as you then πŸ˜‰ I would think that as long as we didn’t whine and complain with no positive note, that would potentially mis-lead readers. However, to not acknowledge the pitfalls would also be mis-leading. When in doubt, don’t post. Otherwise, yes honesty in all things please.

    • I think being honest about struggles, but also being positive that you will overcome them and being willing to ask for and accept advice is something that’s important πŸ˜€

      Difference between me and you as bloggers is that you post honestly but hilariously! Your posts make me chuckle πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • I learn a lot from other bloggers and their honest posts about writing and sometimes life in general πŸ˜€

      Thank you for the well wishes, and for commenting πŸ™‚ I always appreciate the support!

  5. I have dreams of accomplishing something as a writer. I also like my stories. I started my blog to promote my work, but it took on a life of its own. The best use of writing and blogging I have is to entertain me. I hope others enjoy it, but I’m having a blast. If I don’t always follow the road map, so be it.

    • A blog is about posting for fun and sharing something with others, and that’s how I like it πŸ˜€ I always enjoy your posts!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  6. I feel like honesty should be the one thing I can guarantee from any author’s blog. Like you said, “I suppose that makes sense, but then, what’s the point in blogging about my writing if I’m not going to be honest about it?” Amen, amen, amen! Writers who are always closed off about their experience aren’t real – it actually kinda creeps me out a bit haha. All hail the honesty jar – writers’ blogs!

    • Exactly πŸ˜€ I appreciate a writer much more when they are willing to talk about their honest experience, and I’m likely to buy their book because of it.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  7. I think it’s good to talk of some of your struggles. The world isn’t perfect and these writers who make it seem like they live in a rosy garden, pee me off no end. If I know someone has struggled to make it out with a book…I’m not talking the ‘Oh I’m so wonderful I sent in a sub…’ Then the next blog is….’these idiots rejected me’ … I’m talking honest struggle, then I want to read that book. That is their blood, sweat and tears.
    By the way I nominated you on my other blog for an Inspiring blogger award. No problem if you don’t do awards. http://furiousunravelings.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/an-inspiring-blogger-award/

    • Yeah, being honest about your struggles and the journey, I think, helps more than it would hinder. You get a sense of the writer behind the book and that is what I like πŸ˜€

      Thank you so much for the award! I do love awards, I have just been so busy I haven’t managed to get around to posting them! Thank you, it really does makes my day πŸ˜€

      • Harliqueen same here re awards.
        Being honest about struggles and journeys towards getting out there helps big time when it comes to things I like in a writer.

  8. I personally am more interested in reading something when I’ve read about someone’s struggles with it. It becomes part of the story, like a prologue, and I’m interested to see how it all worked out. Success stories make me happy, but they only work if I’m made aware of why it was a challenge.

    Keep posting, I like them. πŸ™‚

    • Exactly, when have read an authors struggles through and then they finally produce something I will buy it, because I have been on that journey with them through their posts πŸ˜€ Plus, it’s just nice to connect with others through the same things we all go through on this journey.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • It’s all about the honesty, because when we talk about them and overcome them, it makes it even more of an accomplishment πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  9. I don’t know any avid reader who is unaware that authors struggle to write their stories. It becomes part of the author’s personal story–Hemingway, Faulkner, JK Rowling, Stephen King, Tolkien.

    • The more I know a writer, the more inclined I am to read their books. And I enjoy their work that much more for knowing what they’ve been through to produce it πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  10. I would read your books Harliqueen because you’re honest and real. Nobody wants to hear that someone is a genius. That would be boring. Keep going, and I will too:))

    • It’s nice to know this community is so open about their writing journeys πŸ˜€ It does help keep me motivated to know where are all in the same boat and willing to help each other out!

      Thank you for the support, and the comments! πŸ™‚

  11. Your honesty about the writing process is one of the things I love most about your blog πŸ™‚ Writers – both budding and established – being honest about the difficulties they face remind us that we’re all in this together and above all else, that we’re human!

    Worries, self-doubt and a desire to improve show passion and that’s what makes a good book in the long run πŸ™‚

    • You’re exactly right! Writing is such a great passion, and our desire to improve and talk about how we write and what we face is part of the reason I enjoy reading blogs by others πŸ˜€

      Thank you for your support and your comments πŸ™‚

    • That’s how I feel, to see what a writer has produced after going through all those struggles makes me realise I can get there too πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

      • Exactly! And I feel a little more like I am reading the work of someone I “know”… Honestly some writers blogs, where I get to see a broader picture of them, have gotten me to read books I otherwise might not have. “I like their blog and personality, so I might as well check out what they write!” Because personality bleed through all of our work.

      • Reading an honest blog definitely helps me get a sense of the writer and that in turn helps me to know what their work will be like πŸ™‚

  12. I love reading about your writing journey! And I think that posting your struggles with writing will help other writers, too, if they’re going through something similar πŸ™‚ I also love your progress reports you do at the bottom of your posts!

    • I’m glad you enjoy my posts πŸ˜€ I always enjoy yours, I often learn something new! But that’s part of the fun of blogging, meeting others and connecting!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  13. I’m totally with you. What’s the point of having a blog if it’s not to show readers who YOU are, even when YOU are sometimes doubtful or struggling or frustrated? I don’t want to present myself as some perfect, disconnected thing that produces content; I want my readers to get to know me, and (most importantly) RELATE to me. That means sharing all my aches and pains as well as my successes and happiness.

    There’s nothing wrong with a reader being doubtful, either. I’d rather have a reader pick up my book unsure of what to expect and be pleasantly surprised.

    • I love finding writer’s blogs and discovering who they are and then reading their books and seeing how much work has gone into that book. It’s a great way to know that the book you are reading has had a lot of work and heart put into it! πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  14. I love to read about the life and journey of my fave writers, so I say stick to your principles! Honesty is the best policy…I would certainly think less of my faves if I learned theirlife stories were anything but honest.

    • Building a connection with other writers and with readers through honesty is much more important than worrying about it, I think πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  15. I like honesty! I don’t mind if my authors struggle with books – and I know lots of favorite authors who had trials and tribulations. It’s possible that being a writer myself, I might have more empathy and interest in how other authors work thru their issues? But I honestly think a REAL reader wouldn’t shy away from reading something, no matter how hard the author struggled.

    • As writers, I think we do sympathise more when writers post about their struggles, as most of us have been there and struggled through it πŸ˜€ But as a reader, I do like seeing the passion and effort that a writer has put into their work, and blogging is a great way of showing that.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • I think it’s the best way to go, especially with blogging. What’s the point of a blog if not to express the struggles as well as the accomplishments? πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  16. I am painfully honest about both my writing and publishing processes. Many have appreciated that honesty because it has helped them avoid making some of the mistakes I have made. My blog is not a tool for me to sell books. I may have sold all of twenty five through it. It is a tool to gather and share information. All bloggers are writers of some sort. Our struggles are human. Things real people relate to. It is true that exuding confidence about your work in the professional world can boost your image to others. It can also make you come across as a righteous know-it-all, impersonal, and sterile when it is overdone.

    • You’re exactly right. I always enjoy your posts, because of the honesty you put into them, and that is what helps us connect as bloggers and writers πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  17. Honesty is definitely the best policy imho. Although I have learnt to take a deep breath and be more diplomatic as I have gotten older πŸ™‚ hearing that others have experienced the same is heartwarming, knowing that I am not alone in these issues. Blessings

  18. I love reading your posts–struggles and successes. It makes the blogger behind the post “more real” IMO and I think that’s what’s important. Besides, what is the fun in reading about a journey if you don’t include the downs with the ups? What fun would there be in Lord of the Rings if they didn’t have to go through all the hardship and loss just to destroy the ring? I, like others, are enjoying your journey so far so keep on keeping it real. πŸ™‚

    • That’s a very good point! Where would the fun be in achieving something if you didn’t have to overcome as well? And it’s nice to be able to follow a writer through their process and see them achieve their dream πŸ˜€

      Thank you for your encouraging words and support! πŸ™‚

  19. I agree with you all the way around. Not just for the health of the writer who is struggling (what would I do if I couldn’t share my frustrations with my blog readers?) but also for the ultimate interest in the book. All the marketing gurus suggest readers want to connect with authors personally, as you said, to be part of their story. For me, it’s hard to connect with someone who pretends this writing road is easy!

    • Exactly, I do like being able to find out more about a writer either before or after reading their work. It engages me a lot more with the book to know who is the person who wrote it πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • I would definitely rather be honest than pretend I did everything perfectly, I don’t think I’d do well at that! πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  20. I really enjoy reading your honest posts, and I definitely agree that honesty is best! Everyone has difficulties, and when we writers admit that we have those struggles, it can help close the distance between us and our readers. (At least, that’s my opinion.) πŸ™‚

    • I agree with your opinion πŸ˜€ I do like finding new writers, discovering their journey and then reading their books and what they’ve produced after overcoming their struggles. Definitely draws me to reading a book more!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  21. As writers, we can only learn from other writers who are further down the road if they are honest. So as a writer, I appreciate your honesty and candor very much.

    As a reader, if you came across as proud and pompous like you never made a mistake, that would turn me off much sooner than if you were honest about your fears. Because honestly, I probably wouldn’t seek out an author’s blog until after I read her book and liked it. At that point, I already want to see when the next one will be published. But if I read her blog and she is so full of herself, that WOULD probably leave such a bad taste in my mouth that I would immediately unfollow and not look into another book of hers.

    I think you’re doing a terrific job! Great post! πŸ˜€

  22. Quite HONESTLY, I say, I read the first few lines of your post and I could not stifle an “Ooohhhh shhhhh…..!! That’s what I do!” I write about my struggles, fears and decisions no matter how insignificant. I don’t know how to write without honesty. Why bother blogging? I should think it would make our work as writers that much more interesting to our readers. I read the book “On Writing” by Stephen King…a lot. It fascinates me because it isn’t just his HONEST insights, he tells all about his struggles while writing various books and stories. I believe I am going to have to ignore that advice as well, I just can’t saddle up with writing anything except my own raw honesty. πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad to hear it! I always enjoy your posts and most of that is because you post so honestly πŸ˜€ It would be difficult not to post anything but honestly, I think it would get rather boring very quickly!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

      • Well thank you! Thrilled to hear you enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy reading yours! And yes, I must agree, the truth is usually stranger than fiction anyway, so why bore everyone with untruths? πŸ˜‰

  23. I think bloggers, or people in general, are savvy enough to see through a post that’s not honest. Definitely be honest. I’m shocked that someone would say don’t be too honest — in other words lie? :). Or maybe it’s about holding information back, but that, in my view, creates distance. Great post here. Thanks for the honesty.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

    • They were talking about only posting about how you did things, which is fine, but can get a bit boring sometimes! πŸ˜€ I would prefer to write and connect with others, that part of the joy of blogging about this experience.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  24. In that brave spirit of honest, as a writer, there are times when I look at my work and think “Who wrote this shit. – Damn, I did!” The writer’s blogs that bore me are the ones that are all about the ‘craft’. Those are only of interest to other writers. The real person behind the books is an enriching experience for me, as a reader. This is a tough journey, but well worth it in the end.

    • I get those moments too πŸ˜€ But overcoming them and being able to talk about that is a great thing, and I respond to fellow writers and bloggers who can admit that. Like you say, it’s nice to know the real person behind the writing.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • The more of your story that you tell, the more people will likely respond to you, right? πŸ˜€ I definitely think that is the way to go!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  25. As T. S. Eliot said, β€œThe purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.” Writing is a wonderful but tough process and when you think you’ve finished, there’s always something else to do, and reaching an audience is even harder… I’ve just published my first novel and I’ve loved (and suffered through) the nerve- wracking process. I’ve also met wonderful people on the way, on goodreads, blogs, facebook, etc. I wish I’d started writing ‘seriously’ earlier! I admire your honesty, keep it up! I’m looking forward to reading your first published work whenever you’re ready….

  26. Absolutely, honesty is the best policy. I think that’s how I connect with your posts, because they’re real and they strike a chord with me too! I, for one, appreciate your honesty! πŸ™‚

  27. Great topic. I appreciate honesty and in fact, as a writer, I am honest about the challenges I face as a writer. I think it is helpful for other writers to hear honesty–that is the best way to connect and promote a supportive community.

    • That’s exactly how I feel. Like your post you did recently on accuracy in fiction, instead of just spouting off how to do it, you used your work for example and posted a great post that I could learn from, but that wasn’t just telling me how to do things πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • Different for you though, ’cause I make you read my work πŸ˜€ And I blab on to you in email about TONS of problems! I just hope you enjoy my stuff at the end of it.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, I really appreciate all the support πŸ™‚

  28. I vote for honesty. Knowing a writer struggled with writing a novel wouldn’t keep me from reading it. If the blog posts were full of sentence fragments, typos and demonstrated a lack of grasp of the English language, then I might be a little skeptical! (Your writing isn’t like that πŸ™‚ )

    • Blog posts are a great way to gauge a writer’s level. Though my blog posts do tend to wander around the topic sometimes, my stories aren’t like that (I hope! :D).

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • Exactly, I am more likely to connect with a fellow writer who is honest about their journey, than one who just says it was a breeze, unless of course it was actually really easy for them. Then I’d just be in awe! πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  29. All these commenters telling you that you’re doing the right thing by being honest… they can’t be wrong, can they? And would you really want people who’d rather hear you tell lies (or white lies) than the truth as readers? Ok, as a writer you’d probably want anyone you can get (I would), but chances are, those people wouldn’t go read your blog beyond the superficial anyway.

    Hmm, while we’re being honest… I didn’t really read through all those comments – I read about 75% of them then scrolled all the way down so I could say my bit. Happy now?!? πŸ˜‰

    • Every bit of honesty is good, right? πŸ˜€ I am glad so many people agreed, it’s good to know this community is so supportive and honest about their process and journey. It certainly helps to know there are others out there who have gone through the same, and will post about it for others to learn from.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  30. Whoever that person was who said not to be too honest may be right. Honesty is a good thing. I think most will agree with that. Yet, there are times when just not expressing at all is a better way to go. How many times have you been with a friend when they look like crap, and yet they ask you, “How do I look?”, hoping for a compliment. What is the right thing to do then? I think we should be as kind to ourselves as well.

  31. Your point about the necessity of worrying about your writing reminds me of something Alan Bennett, the playwright, has said in an interview to mark his 80th birthday (I read an extract from it a few hours ago) – that writer’s block is a matter one faces every time one writes. In other words, writing is essentially a troublesome process to get right..

  32. I also appreciate your honesty. I know it’s not easy to talk about the struggles of writing. But I don’t know a writer who doesn’t struggle from time to time. Those who only highlight what’s “good” are only telling half the story.

    • It is hard to admit struggling sometimes, especially at something we all love so much πŸ˜€ But I find I am always glad I did, as I receive so much support and advice!

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  33. I agree that honesty is the best policy. Writing is hard work, and all of us struggle with some aspect of this process. That doesn’t mean we aren’t good or our books aren’t worth reading. Plus, there are a lot of other writers out there who face similar struggles, and blogging about them can help us to remember that we’re not alone.

    • Exactly, I think the fact that writers want to overcome their struggle to become better writers makes for better books πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

    • Being nervous and having struggles is a natural thing, I think it’s good to be open about it πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  34. Not posting honestly? What a ridiculous notion. As you know, I too post very honestly about all the ups and downs of my journey with Frozen Hearts and music – it would be almost incomprehensible to pretend that everything is all fine and dandy even when it isn’t, haha πŸ˜‰ I say keep posting honestly… not only does it show readers the “real person” behind your lovely work, but it also gives you an outlet to just rant when you need to!

    • Exactly right, that’s why I enjoy your posts. Honesty is key is connecting with fellow bloggers, writers and readers. If they can’t see the true person, then how can they get to know you and enjoy your work? πŸ˜€

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

      • Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ I very much agree – if readers can’t connect on a personal level, why on earth would they keep reading?

  35. I think it’s safe to say that if you weren’t honest I wouldn’t be following you. Who wants a bunch of “Writing is so easy! This is going well! My book’s going to be great!” posts? That would be so boring. I love hearing about the ups and downs of the writing process. It makes the finished product a much bigger accomplishment. Plus you’ve got all these great people to celebrate with when it’s done!

    • Very true, I much prefer reading about people who have worries but then overcome them. It makes me cheer them on and support them more πŸ˜€

      Thank you for the encouragement! πŸ™‚

  36. I write about my struggles. I think that from both a writer’s and a reader’s standpoint, it’s interesting to see what goes into producing a novel and helps build a more personal connection between them and you and the story. And of course I think most people find it inspiring to see people dealing with struggles and getting through them.

    • It really is nice to stumble onto a writer’s blog and see them overcome their struggles to produce something they are proud of πŸ˜€ I connect to those writers.

      Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  37. Excellent post. I agree with all the other commenters – honesty is the best policy. We can’t grow without each other, and we can’t improve without reflecting on our skills. It’s sad to think that some people out there have a limited support network because they took the advice and are too afraid to tell the truth. Writing is hard – no point saying otherwise.

  38. Pingback: Posts I loved this week | Taylor Grace

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