Updated on April 24, 2016
There is a misconception that authors are naturally born with the talent to write. Let me squash that myth right now. Just like anything else in life, if you have the desire and passion to succeed you can master whatever you put your mind to—even writing a novel, memoir or short story.
The best advice I could give a writer who is embarking into the choppy waters of publishing is to be committed. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This is a tough business. However, the rewards far outweigh the hurdles. But first you must love the art of writing by inventing those one-of-a-kind characters and riveting plots that keep you and your readers glued to the page. Yes, I said you. You should love your stories just as much as your readers! You know the saying, “If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
I can’t stress this enough. Because for me, writing is just that—it’s what I do. And I can’t imagine life without it.
If you feel like I do, read the type of books you enjoy by your favorite authors and learn the craft as a reader. Start that self-help library of books for newbie authors and study the art of weaving dialogue, setting, interiority, and action into your prose. Then follow your dream and oblige those characters taking up space in your head and talking to you non-stop and write their story.
And don’t get discouraged. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’re on the roller-coaster ride of your life. There are many ups an downs in this business which may have you asking, “What in the H . . .E . . .DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS am I doing?” That’s okay. I had the same doubts. But it’s a thrill ride, and one I’d pay admission for. Because eight years later, with four well-received books under my belt and one on the way in a few weeks—jeez I sound like I’m about to give birth—I’m living my dream. And I wasn’t kidding about the baby metaphor. Nothing could be more accurate. You’ve brought your story to life over several months or even years, nurtured it by staying up many a late night when it needed you, and now you are ready to show the world your new baby!