Thursday, July 8, 2010

Writing Advice?

The best advice I ever got about writing is something I always pass along to others. Unfortunately, I'm not sure who said it to me first, since I've had some wonderful mentors along the way... or maybe I heard it initially at a meeting of the Romance Writers of America. I've heard it a lot since the first time, in any event.

What is it? If you're a writer, write. Just do it.

It can be said in many other ways, too: Find the time and place. Believe in yourself. Even if it takes you a while to hone your writing and sell it, you're still a writer.

I had both good and mediocre luck as a fiction writer starting out. My first published fiction won a national award: a short story that won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for best first mystery short story of the year. I had several more stories published in ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and then nothing for a while. I worked on novels and have the proverbial dozen under the bed before I sold the first.

But I kept on writing and finally did start selling. So my additional advice: no matter what stage you're in, never stop!

What stage is your writing... and do you think you'd stop for any reason?


Camille Minichino said...

We're all glad you persevered, Linda, and what a long list you have!

I try to keep excuses to a minimum! On the one hand, writing is "creative" and requires inspiration, but on the other it's a "job" and a commitment and needs to be done under whatever conditions -- so, yes, that was great advice. Just write!

Betty Hechtman said...

Everybody is looking for a magic answer, but it really comes down to just do it.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Camille. I think it's a good idea to try to set up a schedule so the creative side of one's mind can prepare itself to get creative!

Linda O. Johnston said...

If anyone comes up with magic answers, I'd love to hear them, Betty!