So you’re a writer too
by L.D. Beyer
New writers are always asking other writers for advice. We want to learn from those who went before us, hopefully avoiding the mistakes our more seasoned colleagues made, and possibly, just possibly, fining an easier path to success. Here’s a few things I picked up during my journey to become a writer.
Write every day. This is the advice I heard most often when I started writing. Write for as long as you can, each day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. While I’ll admit that I don’t always follow this advice, like any skill, writing takes practice and you will become better over time. Look at how many hours professional athletes or musicians devote to their craft. Writers need to do the same.
Read everything you can within your genre or chosen field. Learn how other writers approach their craft and along the way you’ll learn what an intriguing protagonist, a compelling plot, and an engaging dialogue look and sound like.
Network with other writers. We tend to think alike and, even if it’s to commiserate on our all too common failures, writers tend to be very supportive of each other. At a minimum, it’s a great excuse to get out of the house for a cup of coffee.
Learn everything you can about publishing, whether it’s traditional or self-publishing. Yesterday’s rules for success are not today’s and new writers need to be aware of how rapidly the publishing and book retailing world are changing.
Beware the charlatans. There are many people and businesses preying on writers, hoping to sell their cure all for your writing ills, their secret formula to your publishing success, promising they can open supposedly closed doors and bring you fame and fortune. If this were the early 1900’s, many of these would be called Snake Oil Salesman. Do yourself a favor and ask for references first. Check out Predators and Editors to find out which advisors and firms are reputable and which should be avoided like the plague. A simple rule: if they ask for money up front, walk away.