I’ve been a full time writer for three years now so I thought it would be good to use this blog to review how I got here, my second novel being published in the US.
If you’re interested in being an author yourself, here’s the way I became one. With handy tips.
- Read and write a lot. Like, d’uh. I don’t mean just ‘how to’ books, but the genre you want to write and all other genres around it. The more you read, the more you’ll absorb and the better your own style will become. Writing is working through the 90% of rubbish to get to that 10% that’s any good. Then doing it over and over again. Rewrite after rewrite. If, after rewrite five, you’re still loving it, then you’re writer. If after ten and you’re still loving it, you’ll get published, eventually. By ow most of the others will have fallen by the way side.
- Don’t be afraid of the crap. You will churn out loads of awful words, sentences, chapters. Get them all out of your system. The more you write the quicker this process will be. Give them to your friends. Now you’re not listening to their advice, their suggestions. You’re measuring how quickly they respond. If aftera month you’re still waiting, well it’s not the page turner you thought it was. When they’re emailing you the next day, in the morning because they stayed up all night to read it, then you’ve got something.
- Accept people will hate it and don’t let it stop you. Just before I landed my agent, Sarah Davies, I had one (very famous) agent reply stating my manuscript was ‘poisonous and no parent, librarian or schoolteacher would let a child read it, let alone stock it.’
- If you can deal with criticism like that then you’ll do well and be able to survive this career where every negative comment is like a dagger to the heart.
- There is no secret handshake or club. This is the biggest myth to do with publishing. That it’s about knowing people rather than writing. I was in construction before I became a writer. No-one, but no-one I knew in construction had any dealings with the world of publishing. My only writing qualification in writing is an ‘o’ level I did when I was 14. That was a looong time ago.
- You don’t need a degree in English Literature. You don’t need a fine arts MA in creative writing. You don’t need a cousin in Penguin or TimeWarner to get published. You need a passion for telling stories.
- Enter writing competitions! I advise this all the time but everyone ignores it. Why? That’s how I got published. In fact I know about eight people who entered the same competition as me and that’s how they got published too. If you want a short cut and avoid all that slush pile misery then competitions are that short cut.
- Don’t rush. This is where I slip up, time and time again. Speed and quality are diametrically opposed. Simple as that.
Thanks to AuthorsOnTheWeb, I have ONE set of the authors books to giveaway! That’s right! One lucky reader will get a copy of Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess.
1. This contest is open to the USA and Canada only.
2. No need to be a follower, but I would love it if you would!
3. Leave a comment with an email address to contact you with if you win.
4. Contest will end on 2/5/2011.