PDA

View Full Version : Advice for aspiring writers/wannabes



Dixie
01-29-2007, 06:32 AM
OK so I openly admit this is a spinoff from the "Difference Between Wannabes and Writers" thread. If you could give any advice to those aspiring writers that want to move from wannabe to gonnabe to published, what advice would that be??

Azure Skye
01-29-2007, 06:34 AM
Finish what you start.

Maprilynne
01-29-2007, 06:39 AM
Listen to advice. Especially advice you don't like.

No really, you think you're listening, but you're not. Really really listen.

Because if you're "gonnabe" published, you'll have to listen to the same kind of stuff from your agent and your editor.

Maprilynne

Sean D. Schaffer
01-29-2007, 07:41 AM
I think I went from Wannabe status to Gonnabe status when I finally decided to treat my writing like a business. If I'm doing it to make money, and not just to have fun, I find I take it much more seriously than I used to.

So my advice would be: treat your writing like a job, by which you intend to get paid. It helps immensely in becoming more serious about your writing.

:)

aka eraser
01-29-2007, 07:47 AM
Study the writer's guidelines for your target markets. Then follow them. They're a blueprint for success.

triceretops
01-29-2007, 07:52 AM
Beware the "golden" word.
Nobody is out to steal your work
Don't argue with critiques
Don't argue with reviews
Enjoy the process of writing.
You don't need an agent to sell your work--it only helps.
Do not pester agents and editors. If your work is good enough, they'll pester you.

Tri

TwentyFour
01-29-2007, 08:41 AM
YAY! I went from wannabe to gonnabe cause I finished my novel! WOOHOO!

Adagio
01-29-2007, 12:45 PM
Buy a couple of good reference books on writing, join AW community, write, learn the craft, read, read again the masters, write, write.

K1P1
01-29-2007, 03:33 PM
Stay focused on what you want to accomplish, which means doing all the things the others suggested:
Treat it like a business
Write even if you don't feel like it
Study your market
Be disciplined
Take advice
Remember that your writing can ALWAYS be improved

cinders23
01-29-2007, 04:27 PM
It just moves a person from the wanna-be published status to the wanna sell a lot of of books status.

Anyway...it seems to me there is always something to wanna be in writing.

Now the wanna-bes who never finish their books are what I call dabblers. They like to write, but it's not a priority. They only write in the spare time or when the mood strikes, because they're content in their lives. I don't think any less of them for this.

Cindy.

Jamesaritchie
01-29-2007, 05:19 PM
Now the wanna-bes who never finish their books are what I call dabblers. They like to write, but it's not a priority. They only write in the spare time or when the mood strikes, because they're content in their lives. I don't think any less of them for this.

Cindy.

I don't think less of them, either, until they start complaining that they can't get published, claim they are trying hard, make silly accusations against the publishing industry, etc.

I don't think being content in their lives has anything to do with it. Most of them sound considerably more discontented to me than do professional writers. You certainly do not have to be discontented to work hard, or to succeed. You just have to want to do it, and have a solid work ethic. I think it's far more a matter of personality, rather than contentment.

cinders23
01-29-2007, 05:49 PM
I don't think less of them, either, until they start complaining that they can't get published, claim they are trying hard, make silly accusations against the publishing industry, etc.

I was referring more to people who have big ideas for their novels/stories, but never finish them. These people don't put a priority on their writing because they have found success some where else.

Now it seems to me that you're talking about people who have at least finished something and expect it to be easy after that. Well, I agree there is always more to do even after the novel is finished. (I would think any person who complains too much can become annoying.)

Shadow_Ferret
01-29-2007, 07:41 PM
Read.
Write.
Repeat.

victoriastrauss
01-29-2007, 07:52 PM
Learn about the publishing industry before you start trying to enter it--and not from the Internet, where there's much good information but also a lot of bad information, and some prior knowledge is required to sort out which is which. Go the print route first. Go to the library or bookstore and find one or two general books on the publishing process. Read them cover to cover.

Do your research FIRST. Then, and only then, start submitting.

This ought to be a no-brainer, but I am constantly amazed at the number of writers who plunge into submitting without understanding even the most basic things about publishing (such as the fact that it's NOT routine to pay an agent or publisher upfront). I can't think of a single field in which one does better from a starting point of total or semi-ignorance. Establishing a writing career is no exception.

Believe me, the scammers are hoping you will disregard this advice.

- Victoria

Kate Thornton
01-29-2007, 08:12 PM
I can't think of a single field in which one does better from a starting point of total or semi-ignorance. Establishing a writing career is no exception.

Believe me, the scammers are hoping you will disregard this advice.

- Victoria

What Victoria said.

johnzakour
01-29-2007, 08:40 PM
Spead atleast as much time writing as you do on writer forums.

Pagey's_Girl
01-29-2007, 09:40 PM
Have the maturity to accept criticism, the strength to ignore naysayers, and the wisdom to know the difference between them.

To quote Pat Brady: "Just do it. If you don't try, you'll never know."

aadams73
01-29-2007, 10:21 PM
Learn the tools of writing. Your crit partner/beta/agent/editor shouldn't have to fix all your crappy grammar and punctuation just because you can't be bothered learning how to punctuate(or spell).

Cat Scratch
01-29-2007, 11:04 PM
All of the above, plus: don't settle for "good enough."

underthecity
01-30-2007, 01:08 AM
Don't just say "I don't have the time to write." MAKE the time to write, even if it's for just a half-hour. IOW, get off the internet once in a while.

Read everything you can. Examine how the pros do it. No time to read? Don't you sit on the toilet at least once every day? How about audio books in the car?

Don't be disappointed with your first effort and give up on it. That first effort might not seem so great when you're writing it, but with work, it'll be better.

allen

ATP
01-30-2007, 05:06 PM
Spend at least as much time writing as you do on writer forums.

A very good point. Talking as a full-time non-fiction writer, I would suggest adjusting the equation slightly. Thus, if one assumes an hour a day in total on writing boards or AW (and an hour might be considered generous), then allowing for holidays, we can then assume 348 days or 348 hours per year on 'the boards'. As you suggest, this would then be about 348 hours per year on writing proper - a ratio of 1:1. This is way too high a commitment of time which is a limited, 'chargeable' / billable commodity.

Better yet is time spent on boards being kept to around 33% of total time spent on writing proper; my preference is 25%. Between 40%-50% borders the realm of distraction and replacing the object of your endeavor with writing on boards. But, this has to be measured against the need for communication and 'contact'. Each person is different, and it is a tricky thing to balance.

tony1
01-31-2007, 08:54 AM
Read.
Write.
Repeat.

Probably the best way to hone your craft.

J.S Greer
01-31-2007, 12:17 PM
Beware the "golden" word.
Nobody is out to steal your work
Don't argue with critiques
Don't argue with reviews
Enjoy the process of writing.
You don't need an agent to sell your work--it only helps.
Do not pester agents and editors. If your work is good enough, they'll pester you.


Well said.