Good Advice Can’t Be Bad – One Author To Another

As writers, we are constantly looking around us for inspiration. For me, one of the best places to find encouragement, is from other writers. Author quotes, interviews, and advice are always there for me when I need them.

Recently, I read a really great article on the Huffington Post website about a book called “Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and Why They Do What They Do” – where bestselling authors share advice and tips about their success. The Huffington Post shared an excerpt by Jodi Picoult (most famous for “My Sister’s Keeper).

Here is a little taste of her wisdom:

A lot of writers think of the publishing contract as the Holy Grail, but it’s not. It’s a huge mistake to think that just because your book is being printed, your publisher will publicize it. If you’re a new author, it’s much more likely that they won’t. You have to stump yourself and find book clubs to talk to and go to book fairs and set up signings at bookstores and libraries—anything to get word of mouth going. Your publisher’s more likely to pay attention to your book if it starts magically selling. Then they might put some money into promoting it. It’s a vicious cycle.

  • Take a writing course. It’s how you’ll learn to get and give feedback, and it’ll teach you to write on demand.
  • There’s no magic bullet that’ll make you a success. If you write because you want to be rich, you’re in the wrong business. Write because you can’t not write, or don’t write at all.
  • Write even when you don’t feel like writing. There is no muse. It’s hard work. You can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page.
  • Read. It’ll inspire you to write as well as the authors who came before you.
  • To read the full article, click HERE.

    Another great article shares some tips from Kurt Vonnegut, from his book “Bagombo Snuff Box”:

  • Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  • Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  • Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  • Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.*
  • Start as close to the end as possible.
  • Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  • Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  • Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
  • To read the full article, click HERE.

    If you’re having writer’s block, losing faith in yourself, or feeling like the only writer out there, just take a look around and you’ll see all the amazing writer’s who are there, ready and willing, to help you along your way. There are lots of great books your can read, such as the one mentioned above in the Huffington article, Stephen King’s “On Writing” (is hugely popular), “Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity” by Ray Bradbury, and many more. And finally, here are a few great quotes, to help you feel inspired and keep you from losing your mind:

    Jeffrey EugenidesStephen KingCharles de Lint

    Anais NinToni MorrisonJ. K. Rowling

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