And Now Back to Writing Tips

Today I'm going to talk about the difference as I see between published writers and those who would just like to be.

1. Actually sitting down and writing every single day--or at least a schedule of writing so many hours on so many days.

The published writers that I know do that. One of my favorite writers is up at 4 a.m. so she can put in 6 to 8 hours a day. Another one works a full time job and still manages to write three series--which means three books a year.

2. Once the book is done making sure it is really ready to send out to an agent or publisher. (Has to be an agent if you are seeking a major publishing house--smaller, independent publishers can be contacted without an agent.)

Belonging to a critique group can help a lot. My critique group is my first editor. They hear/read every single chapter that I write and make lots of great suggestions and catch mistakes I didn't even see. I often hire and editor for the second run through. I have a couple that I really trust. Then, of course, the publisher has an editor who goes over the manuscript.

3. Be willing to accept rejection--because unless you are mighty lucky, you will receive rejections. Keep sending the book out. If anyone gives you constructive criticism that makes sense, pay attention to it and make changes in the book.

4. While that book is making the rounds, start another. Repeat. Never stop.

5. Keep learning. Go to writers' conferences, read writer magazines.

(Speaking of writers' conferences, if you're writing mysteries, a good one to try that covers beginning, middle, and advanced writing topics is

6. Don't ever give up.

7. If you really want to be a published writer, you need to do all of the above.

That's a start.



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