Three Types of People to Watch Out for In Your Writing Life – Type 1

By Guest Blogger Margo Dill

This is the first in a series of three guest posts on the negative people to watch out for in your writing life. This post originally appeared on the WOW! Women On Writing blog, The Muffin.

When it’s my turn to blog on The Muffin, I usually try to come up with something either funny, positive, inspirational, or instructional. But today, friends, I have a bone to pick with three types of people you could run into in your writing career; and this is a topic that needs to be brought out of the shadows and into the light. So this post comes with a big WARNING sign—maybe even DANGER AHEAD. When you’re reading the descriptions below, if the name of someone in your writing life pops into your mind, then you will know to proceed with caution or run away screaming from him or her.

Watch out for these three!

Type 1: The What’s-In-It-For-Me Writer

We all know these people exist in our lives—people who won’t do anything unless they see a benefit for themselves. It’s not that people should be going around spending all their time doing selfless acts, and writing is a business, so you have to make wise decisions. But some writers are extremely self-centered, narcissistic, and un-generous. (I told you, this is not a positive post. SORRY!) Recently I heard a story about two writers who had the same publisher—we will call them Positive Polly and Selfish Sal. Positive Polly was looking for giveaways from writers while promoting her latest book, but also to give some of the other writers at her publishing house a chance to find new readers with free eBook giveaways (a tried and true marketing strategy, especially for series writers).

Selfish Sal jumped at the chance to promote himself, but then he quickly became difficult. He complained that he wasn’t getting enough attention and that he never should have gifted anything to Positive Polly for a giveaway. He even went so far as to publicly call out Positive Polly—he said she wasn’t doing enough for him when he graciously donated one eBook.

Do you think Positive Polly will ever work with Selfish Sal again? Of course not. She found several other writers who were more than happy to help her out, were easy to work with and considerate, and even thanked her for the opportunity to talk to Polly’s readers. The What’s-In-It-For-Me Writer will often spend hours complaining and writing some pretty awful emails instead of writing great books.

Read more:

Type 2: The Harsh Critiquer/Editor

Type 3: The Breaker of Promises

Margo L. Dill is a writing coach and WOW! instructor, as well as a writer and freelance editor. You can enroll in her novel writing coach that starts the first Friday of every month by going here. She is also offering a marketing class starting in fall 2018. Find out more about Margo at

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