Every week the nice peeps over at Paper Hangover give a blogging prompt. Today they've asked people to write about the top five pieces of advice that they have gotten as an aspiring writer.
1: You need to write regularly. Very regularly. All the reasons that you come up with to explain why you haven't written your book yet? They're excuses. You have to find time to write.
2: The first draft sucks. But that's ok, because the real part of writing is in the editing. That's when you convert your basic line drawing into a three dimensional work of art.
3: Don't try to write like anyone else. Don't write in a genre just because it's commercially viable or highly regarded. Write the book you want to write in your own voice. It might take a while to find your voice, but its worth taking time to hone. A writer's unique style is the reason why a reader buys more than one of their books.
4: Get someone else to read your book. Get as much constructive criticism as possible. At first it's difficult to take, writing is such a personal thing, but it gets easier with time. Also, when people have taken time out of their busy lives to read your material, remember to show your gratitude. Even if you don't like what they say.
5: Unless you are to doing this as a pure hobby, remember that writing is a business. When traditional publishers take you on they are taking a financial risk. They pay an advance (if you're lucky!), editing costs, advertising costs and fund the print run and transporting of books. None of this includes admin. If you want to persuade a publisher to spend money on you, you need to show them that you are a professional and that you will take the process seriously. That means all submissions should be edited a gazillion times, your letter should sell your book yet still sound modest. It's a job interview in paper form.
They were my favourite ones anyway. Hope everyone has a great weekend! :)