Some people are practically born writing.  I’m that type—I started writing stories at a very young age.  Other people come to writing later in life.  Either way, you can be successful at it if you work hard and are committed to it.  Even people like me who spend their whole lives writing sometimes still take a long time to get published.  Here are five things to keep in mind if you want to be successful at writing:

  1.  Figure out what you want to write and stick with it.  Many published writers are successful because they can keep readers coming back for more.  Readers like to know what they’re getting when they pick up one of your books so you should try to focus on one genre and really give it your all.  Pick a genre that you’re passionate about and stick with it. This doesn’t mean you can’t write in multiple genres. That’s why authors use pen names. You can write thrillers under one name and contemporary romance under another, but you should develop your own unique style and voice in whichever genre or genres you choose to write in and build on those so that readers know when they pick up one of your books, they’re going to be treated to your unique style of storytelling.

  1. Read, read, read.  One of the best ways to become a better writer is to be a reader.  See what other writers do.  Get the bestselling books in your genre and read them.  Take note of how those authors craft and deliver a story.  Re-read your favorite books with your writer’s hat on and try to figure out what the author did that made you love that book so much.

  1. Write, write, write.  Try to write as much as you can.  Even if you’re not working on a story or a book.  Write emails, letters to your congresspeople, or keep a journal—write something as often as possible. The act of getting words from your head to the page is going to help you figure out your process. Every writer has a different process, a different way that they come to the page, and a specific way of getting their ideas onto that page that best suits them. To figure out what works best for you, practice writing. Remember, you don’t have to use everything you write, but you should write something.  Practice your craft and you will learn about yourself and your own process for writing, and you will also get better.

  1. Connect with other writers.  Look for online groups.  Take online writing courses. See if there is a writing group in your area.  Get yourself some writing friends and cultivate those relationships.  They’ll help you become a better writer and they’ll buoy you up when the business pushes you down.

  1. Research.  Take writing classes.  Read books on the craft.  Talk to other writers.  If you’ve already written something and want to get it published, research how to go about it.  Make sure you know as much about the business as you can before you put yourself out there.  You don’t want to be turned away by agents, editors or publishers or disqualified from contests because you didn’t take the proper steps to submit or did not follow directions.  Take the time to learn about the industry before you plunge into it.

Lisa Regan is the USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Detective Josie Quinn series.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Crime Writers’ Association, and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, daughter and Boston Terrier named Mr. Phillip.

Vanishing Girls

This USA Today bestselling thriller is an utterly gripping crime story perfect for fans of Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter.

The little girl curled into a tiny ball as the chamber grew colder around her. “Please,” she whispered, rocking back and forth. “I want to go home.”

When Isabelle Coleman, a blonde, beautiful young girl goes missing, everyone from the small town of Denton joins the search. They can find no trace of the town’s darling, but Detective Josie Quinn finds another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and unresponsive, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Josie can get from her is the name of a third girl and a flash of a neon tongue piercing that matches Isabelle’s.

The race is on to find Isabelle alive, and Josie fears there may be other girls in terrible danger. When the trail leads her to a cold case labeled a hoax by authorities, Josie begins to wonder is there anyone left she can trust?

Someone in this close-knit town is committing unspeakable crimes. Can Josie catch the killer before another victim loses their life?

ISBN-10: 1786812428
ISBN-13: 9781538734117
Publisher: Grand Central/Bookouture
Paperback: 334 pages
November 26, 2019, $12.99
Language: English
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense


Jackie Houchin said…
Thanks! This is a useful and encouraging post.

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