Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Seven Things all Writers can Learn from Taylor Swift

You’re probably thinking I have lost it. That I am digging deep for blog material if I can suggest that writers or anyone successful and starting out has a lot to learn from Taylor Swift. She’s twenty-three years old … really, what can be learned.
A lot.
I remember when Taylor first burst on the scene, a sweet teen age girl with loads of talent. So cute, we all just wanted to pinch her cheeks. Now a lot of America, over the age of twenty-one just want to slap those cheeks. The same girl who cried the blues because Tina Fey made fun of her, got on stage at the Grammy’s mocked an ex boyfriend and proceeded to sing the worst song ever written. You may argue that point, but the lyrics say it all, “Never, ever, ever getting back together … like ever.”
To be a legend in entertainment isn’t just selling. Popularity is fleeting, and while she goes up and down, eventually, Swift will have to leave the limelight to redesign herself. Her actions right now will determine if the buying public will welcome her back with open arms.
In her young life and she is young, she is doing things that can teach us all a lesson. I have compiled a small list. I am applying this to writers, but anyone can heed the Swift advice.
Burning Bridges – Miss Swift is doing a lot of that, especially lately. Her string of relationships that make their way into song lyrics, not to mention her outspoken nature about anyone that criticizes her. She teaches us that you never know. That person you step on or snub today can be tomorrow’s bestselling author. Don’t burn bridges.
You Can’t Let It Define You – What makes you successful today, what makes you tick as a writer, can’t be what defines you forever. You enjoy writing dark subjects, or comedy, eventually, it will get old. You need to grow. Miss Swift broke onto the scene crying about a broken heart and she still is doing it. Same songs different guy. This connects to …
Break the Mold – I know, this is coming from someone who has a 20+ series, but it isn’t all I write. I have penned over a 150 books. Most will never see the light of a Kindle because they suck … but I break the mold. Too many writers write the same thing, the same series, the same characters … only. They Taylor Swift themselves. Branch out, write new things, new subjects. People may not really buy them or read them, but at least you can say you are more than a series, a zombie and vampire writer.
Standards – Hold yourself to standards. This is short and sweet. If you become successful and to the point that people will buy your stuff no matter what, hold yourself to the standards of a good solid story. No ‘Never ever getting back together’ crap. Give every book the love it deserves and the passion your readers deserve. If it ends up sucking at least you really tried.
Take Criticism  - Don’t whine! For heaven’s sake, Taylor Swift is all over the news when someone makes a derogatory comment. I’m not talking about the occasional blip of complaint about a bad review. There are authors who slam reviewers for giving an opinion.  More than a blip, they take it to forums and so forth. Immediately these reviewers are trolls, implants and know nothing. When in actuality, most of them are honest, negative opinions. Deal with it.
Look Back and Be Proud – My daughter said it all when she said, “Swift is gonna be forty and look back at how she acted and be embarrassed’.  That goes with thrashing reviewers, snubbing people. I know I am guilty of not checking my Facebook messages or putting an email in the ‘to be replied’ file and not getting to it in a while. I’m trying, we should all try. So we can look back at how we acted in the beginning in be proud, not embarrassed.
Give back – I totally trashed Swift this entire blog, but I am going to praise her in this final Swift Lesson. For as immature as she acts, as young as she is, Taylor Swift is by far the most generous celebrity. Not only with her money, but her time as well. She volunteers all the time. She gives back. We can all take a lesson from that. If things are going well for us, help someone who is less fortunate. If we are having success in writing, and another writer asks for help, do you best to guide them.
And that’s it. I thank Taylor Swift for all that she has taught us.


  1. Well said, Jackie! (Although I think we all have some really embarrassing memories from our youths that we wish we could hit the delete button on, lol...)

  2. Tina Fey can make fun of me any day of the week. Eminem was the same way for a long time, anyone who said something negative about him got slammed in his next song. They should date, Eminem and Taylor Swift. That would be an interesting break up. :D