I’ve been writing for a number of years and along the way I’ve learned a lot that can save writers time and help them improve their work. Here are my top pieces of writerly advice:
1. Write. Make time for your passion, even if it’s just 5 minutes a day or an hour a week. The bottom line is, make it a regular part of your life.
2. Read. Read in your genre and outside it. Read Writer’s Digest and Publisher’s Weekly.
3. Hire an editor. Your writing is worth a modest investment in professional feedback. Editors notice things you don’t. Even if you only send them 10 pages their feedback will open your eyes to things you never noticed before. Their comments will help take your work to the next level and help you avoid making the same mistakes in future projects.
4. Find trusted non-biased readers. Your friends and family will love everything you do or pretend to. You need someone to give you honest feedback about your work. Seek out writer friends via your public library, associations, or online. I’ve found Goodreads and SCBWI to be good sources for critique partners.
5. Don’t view someone else’s success as your failure. There is always room for a great new book on someone’s shelf.
–The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes
–Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
–Finding Your Voice by Les Edgerton
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