When asked by the New Yorker Magazine how she wrote so many books, Nora Roberts answered ‘Ass in chair.’ That’s the best advice for beginning writers.
- Spend time each week and write. Not thinking about writing. WRITING.
- Keep a journal to record thoughts and impressions. It’s amazing how those little notes can inspire you years later.
- Edit, edit, edit. Don’t show anyone your work until you’ve gone over it carefully 5 times.
- Before you publish your work, hire a professional editor and a proofreader. Having a clean and error-free manuscript is worth every penny. My editors can be found here, here, and here.
- Develop a thick skin. Don’t argue when someone offers criticism. Some of ‘my’ best ideas have been suggested by other writers.
- Take writing classes at adult education centers. Join a writer’s critique group. You’ll learn as much critiquing others’ work as you will from their reviews of your work.
- Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups for writers.
- Send out your work to websites that publish new authors — not to make money, but to get your work out there and gain self-confidence.
- Never give up. Don’t panic if you think that you’ve got “writer’s block.” Sit down and write whatever comes into your head. You are a writer as long as you write. Publishing doesn’t make you a writer.
- Take time to live your life. You don’t know everything when you’re 25 or even 40. I’m still learning at 68.
- Read, read, read. Everything. Never be without a book. Take two with you in case you finish one while you’re away from home.
- Observe, listen, and daydream.