Twitter Writing Advice Fest
Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 8 am by Yasmine Galenorn
The other night I jumped on Twitter and, with Delilah Dawson and Suzanne Lazear, went on a writing advice tear. Here are my tweets from then. I decided to not use screenshots so they can be read by my sight-impaired readers.
So, here goes…a string of advice snippets:
If you try to write TO the market, unless it’s your natural voice it won’t work. Just write. Write. Write. Write.
I have seven novels in the closet–they’ll never be published and that’s okay. I was learning ‘on the job’…
After 35+ books on the shelves, I STILL get asked when I’m going to write a “real book”…because I love writing urban fantasy.
Five of those seven novels in the closet? Written on breaks and holidays when I worked for the State
Exactly. Act like a professional/Treat your work like a professional. Even if you haven’t sold a thing it will prepare you
The muse is fickle. She ditches you when you most need her if you rely on her. I’m my own muse.
Also…you cannot write anybody else’s books. You cannot BE someone other than you are. Find your unique voice. Nurture it. Court it.
300 words a day. Times 365 days a year. Equals=one book. If you can only write 300 words a day, then write those 300 words.
I MAKE time for things in my life. I work 60-80 hours a week. If I want to workout/play, I MAKE time for that.
My work comes first and my work is writing books. BUT…you can find time for what you want to do if you prioritize.
My ex used to say, “If you become successful at writing I’ll have to leave you.” I left him.
There were other reasons I left–he was abusive and hit me, but trying to squash my writing? Hurt more than anything.
It comes down to: do you want to (write/get in shape/take ballet/whatever)? Do you REALLY want to do it? Then make the time. Life is short.
I focus on what’s more important. Samwise helps. Now I have assistants but I didn’t always. Floors don’t need to sparkle.
I ALWAYS wanted to write. I always have since I was little. I finally wanted to get in shape enough to start working out. I didn’t want to stay diabetic–I adjusted my diet to the way I need it to be to go into total remission from Type 2 diabetes. Hard? All of these things were hard. Some hurt. BUT…I wanted them. I wanted them MORE than I wanted other things. So I do them.
False modesty is annoying. You have to have confidence that you can make it, that you have talent. And then revise/edit.
Because let me tell you: YOU are your best cheerleader. NOBODY will care as much about your work as YOU do.
I’ve said it before but I got SIX HUNDRED rejections slips before my first book contract. Yes. SIX HUNDRED.
I didn’t make a living off my writing till 2007. My first book came out in 1997. For some authors, they may never make a living. So you’d better LOVE the writing process…because there are no guarantees.
I NEVER read reviews unless my editor sends them to me. And never EVER engage a reviewer and argue. BAD FORM.
Hate mail though? I never answer. Engaging people who are so upset doesn’t lead to productive discussion. And yes, I get hate mail.
I recommend books on writing by Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and just READ your fave authors. Get a feel for the structure of work.
Last piece of advice for tonight. Long story short. In 1993, I almost choked to death. Had pneumonia, popcorn got stuck in my throat. I passed out. The fall dislodged the kernel. I was alone–if I hadn’t fallen, I would have died. When I was came to, I thought about what I would regret most if I had died. It would have been: no book published yet. RIGHT THEN…I learned to prioritize. Because, peeps…”someday” may never come. Today may be the only day you have. Or tomorrow. So do what you love.Go after what you want. I cannot guarantee success–no one can. But I guarantee you this: if you quit, you will fail.
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