Wednesday, February 14, 2007


If I Knew The Answer

Someone recently asked me how one gets started as a writer. Fools rush in where Seraphim fear to tread. I know this from my experience as a not yet published author who got her first rejection letter not long ago. Writing seems to be the easy part but getting published is the greater hurdle. I sent in a plot synopsis but didn't fit in with the publisher's list.

I have since been more successful in the commercial markets as an editor. I have updated my initial advice.

I think what is most important to me as a writer is to find something from your own experience. Don't go chasing the latest literary fad. No more chick lit, please. Fads in publication come and go or get stale to publishers very quickly. Boy wizards are out.

Write from your heart. When I write, the words are a culmination of life experiences.

Research the publisher's catalog of books before you inquire on a manuscript. It makes no sense to send a non-fiction tome on the molecular structure of carbon to a literary publisher.

Read books like eating potato chips. Read about everything from nineteenth century violins, for example, to herbs of the Middle Ages and every topic beyond. Make notes if the reading sparks an idea. See the advice below.

Always carry a notebook and several pens to jot down your thoughts. I feel dishabille without at least two pens, the other for emergency ink shortage, and the same quantity of notebooks with the addition of a day planner. Ideas strike with a rain shower's immediacy and fade to dust as soon.Capture these ephemeral tangents while you may.

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