For Aspiring Writers
Do you dream of writing? Of having your book published? Of seeing your name on a bookstore shelf? Here are steps you can take to pursue your goals and realize your dreams!
- Sit in a chair and write! You need to put words on paper and keep going until the end! Just finishing a book is a huge accomplishment!
- Be open to new ideas and criticism. Don't assume everything you write is perfect because even the most accomplished writer can learn something new!
- Looks count! Once you finish a manuscript, make sure it's the best product you can submit, both visually and mechanically. Look up proper manuscript format, margins, font, etc. and turn in a polished manuscript. Editors read thousands of words a day. Make their lives as easy as possible. Maybe one day they'll thank you with THE CALL!
- Be open to revisions! This harkens back to #2. Editors have so many submissions, they don't have to work with a difficult writer. If an editor asks for revisions instead of sending a form rejection letter, you're making progress!
- Don't look back! Once you've submitted anything, be it a query letter or a manuscript, do not pull it out and find mistakes you should have caught! There's nothing you can do except aggravate. Use your time more wisely and;
- Move on! Finished one story? It's sent to an editor or agent? The waiting periods are long. Long enough for you to get started on something new. For one thing, we learn with each story we write and for another, it takes the sting out of a rejection if we have something else out there being considered or another project ready to send.
- Be a joiner! Writing is a lonely business. Professional organizations are there to help you hone your craft. Among the best: Romance Writers of America.
- Don't just write, read! In order to polish your craft, read what's being published. Read old favorite authors and brand new authors who are more likely to show you what is currently being bought by editors. Read with an open mind. You may not like the story, you may be envious that it's been published and you haven't, but there is something in that book an editor found worthwhile.
- How to Write Romances by Phillis Taylor Pianka is the first book I ever bought on the subject. Being a neurotic lawyer and perpetual student, I outlined from cover to cover. You don't have to go that far, but for the bare bones basics, I highly recommend it. This book led me to Romance Writer's of America, for which I will always be grateful!
- Develop a thick skin you're going to need it for the long haul. I wrote for seven years and had ten completed manuscripts before I got published. The lows were really low, but I never gave up. Which leads to my last but most important bonus point: Believe in yourself! Once you put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, you are a writer!