Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best Advice

Morning Folks,

No writer knows exactly what's in store for him or her--whether they're the next big thing, or just end up having modest sales. Either way, writers do need to have the passion for what they do. I have been fortunate to meet some published and aspiring authors who are.

Sometimes people say stuff that might get you down. Other times it might be just what you need. Some of the best advice I've read/been told/thought of in regards to writing is the following:

*Read and read a lot. I know not every author is a huge reader, but I've noticed that for me, in particular, reading has helped me with my writing.

*Write every day. Whether it's a story, a letter, blog, whatever. WRITE.

*"Write what you'd want to read." (Thank you, Stephenie Meyer!) So true. Meyer says basically if you like reading what you write, chances are, others will, too.

*Don't let fear rule you. This is something I've struggled with (and other authors, too), but if you let the fear take over, then the story doesn't stand a chance. You created the characters, you owe it to them to do what absolute best you can for them. (And sometimes this means swallowing your fear and chasing the publishing dream).

*Have a critique partner (CP). Most published authors do not have time to give you feedback on your work (believe me, I've seen it on their websites) they might be able to give you advice about some sort of copyright issue (if they know the answer) or they might be able to encourage you, but don't look to them to be your CP unless you know them personally and they said they'd do it. It's not that they have anything against you, it's just that they are super-duper busy with their own writing and lives.

*Don't be afraid to tell an author you like that their work is great and to tell them you're an aspiring author. The majority of published authors I've come across whom I've mentioned I'm an aspiring author have said to me "Great, go for it!" or "Best of luck." They won't be able to say much more than that, but it does great things for you as an aspiring author to hear that a published one wishes you well...and believe me, most of them do. (Ciara Gold--romance writer--a follower of this blog, is also a published author and she's always encouraging me. Another published author, Laura Childs--she writes mysteries--stopped by my blog once and sent me an email telling me she thought, based on my blog posts that I had talent). Don't be afraid to network!

*Attend writers' conferences whenever you can (or if you can't go somewhere, check for reputable online ones. Some of the Romance Writers of America--RWA chapters have online courses, check 'em out).

*Join a writers group like the RWA. They give their members invaluable advice and tools.

Whatever you're writing I wish you the best!

Have A Terrific Tuesday!


Joanna Campbell Slan said...

May I share another piece of advice? A piece I wish someone had given me years ago?

Finish your book. (And then edit it, as I can see you're planning to do with Surreal.)

Even if you think it stinks, even if you want to move on to another idea, finish what you've started. Take it to those magic words "the end." A large part of writing is sticking with one idea from the concept to completion. In the process, you'll learn tons along the way...you'll develop skills in plotting and character development...and bailing out early will only reinforce a sense that you CAN'T write an entire book.

So, if at all possible, finish that book and THEN move on.

Good luck with your 2010 Resolutions, Bethany. You've got the game plan that'll take you to publication.

Bethany said...

Thanks, Joanna and thanks for dropping by!