Best advice for new writers

Mar 7, 2011Write!

I’m thankful to have a cool cache of friends who are in the publishing industry. This post launches writer week, for all of those who want to be published or are strange enough to wonder about the process of publication, stay tuned each day. Today I’m blessed to offer you sage advice from many folks. Enjoy!

“Writing to be published is a lot like starting a new business. If you’re going to start a bakery, you can’t just have an interesting idea for a new type of bread. You’ve got to have the best dang bread in the country and be the only one who knows how to make it.” Andy Meisenheimer, freelance editor.

Put in the time–time alone, time in the chair, time into community and reading the work of others. Pray often. Always be honest in your writing, no matter how brutal, embarrassing, or ecstatic. Approach the page with confidence. Approach others with humility. Novelist Tosca Lee

Write. Just write. I know it sounds simple, but sometimes it can be the hardest thing to do. Words may be scarce, mojo lost, heart too full (or too empty) to be poured out in syllables. In those times, still put pen to paper — or, in my case, fingers to keys — and just write. Without purpose. Without pressure of perfection. Without a specific goal. Write for no one but yourself. Not for work, for others, for your blog. Write for you. Write just for the sake of writing. In those moments you’ll discover again your most authentic self, your true voice. And that is purpose enough. Blogger and ministry leader, Alece Ronzino

Writing is all about your heart, head, hands. Start by writing from your heart–what you feel most passionately about and God whispers to you. Use your head to make it as excellent as possible. Then your hands can get it out there in the world through solid marketing built on relationships. Writer and coach and so much more, Holley Gerth

Getting published by a traditional publisher takes a great deal of time and effort beyond simply writing your book. Success requires that you study the craft of writing and get outside feedback on your work, rewriting and revising as necessary, before submitting. You also need to study the business of publishing by reading industry blogs & magazines, and attending a writers’ conference if possible. Trying to speed the process and take short-cuts, avoiding the time it takes to become an expert, won’t help you succeed. Give this endeavor the time and effort it deserves. Rachelle Gardner, Literary agent.

There are all kinds of people who will tell you that you can’t write a novel, that you have nothing to say, that you have no talent, that you don’t have the gumption or the grit or the gall to write a novel and get it published.  You must find a way to ignore these people. You must find people in your life who will believe in you.  The road to hell is paved with the word “can’t.”  You desperately need people who believe that you can. Novelist and fiction guru Randy Ingermanson

“Most of the time I still feel like a newbie writer myself. I’d grown up wanting to become a writer, threw my dreams away before I graduated from college and then rediscovered writing in the form of blogging almost four years ago. I still haven’t ‘made it big’ and most days I’m pretty sure I don’t want to. However, after my first writers conference 3 years ago I picked up Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott {because every writer must read that, right?} and was floored by the widsom, the grace and the depth of it. It was inspiring and just what I needed as a blogger/writer just starting out. My meager advice, from one newbie to another, is something I learned from Anne Lamott. Write every day. 300 words. Just for practice but do it every day. THAT alone has helped me the most.” Blogger Sarah Markley

Write a book! No, seriously, sit down and write an entire book from first sentence to final period. Tons of people say they want to write a book, but only a tenacious few actually do it. I think if you have the grit to open a vein and bleed 80,000+ words, you are a long way to achieving your dream of getting that manuscript published. Novelist Nicole Baart