Today's interview answers are brought to you by multiple authors in the Spooktacular Seductions Anthology published by Roane Publishing (@RoanePublishing)!
If you could pass on one piece of advice to yourself, with the knowledge you have now, to the person you were when you were interested in becoming an author and starting the process to write and publish your book(s); what would it be?
Choose to make yourself happy.
It sickens me to think of the decades wasted because my fears and doubts prevented me from writing for years. Looking back, I had the desire and opportunities to write, but I allowed things to stop me. Others tried to tell me what they thought I should do, and I floundered, unsure of what I wanted.
Everyone has a project or something that will bring them joy and happiness. Please don’t allow others to take so much of your time you can’t create the joy your soul craves.
I would tell myself that the only way to really learn how to write is to engage in the act itself. All the workshops in the world can't help you if you don't put in the work and actually create something. So write and re-write and submit wherever you can (anthologies and competitions) and learn from your mistakes, then write some more. Rejections and criticism are a little painful but they're a sign you're actually on your way - you're becoming a writer. Don't lose heart!
Learn the rules of grammar first and learn to accept editing. I thought all you had to do was a write a book and an agent/publisher/whoever would fall in love and help fix all your problems. We all know that as writers, everything we write is perfect. Right? Hello to a rude awakening.
To believe in myself enough to respond to an editor‘s request from a contest final. I kick myself for not doing the follow-through on two occasions years ago to submit the full manuscript because I was just sure the writing wasn’t strong enough. I missed out on a valuable experience of getting the editor’s feedback (or possibly a contract) from being too timid.
It's worth it. It's scary, but you do write big, you do get published, you do get chances you didn't expect, and you're book is in the library. It's published, your stories get reviewed. You are encouraged beyond belief and you do it. You pour your heart onto the page and you edit and you work. It's slow in coming and there will be a lot of work ahead of you. It's my advice to anyone who loves writing and wants to be published that badly--it's worth it.
Lisa A. Adams
“Okay, so it was rejected. No. Don’t! Open that drawer and pull it back out. It’s good. Clean it up. And SEND IT OUT AGAIN!” This is it. The one piece of advice I wish I could have told myself years ago. In fact, if I had told myself this, I would have been published two years before I was. The very first story that was rejected that I actually sent back out instead of filing away forever, was my first accepted and published book.
Like most writers, I began writing when I was very young and always wanted to be an author. Somebody once told me that nobody can teach you to write, so I’ve never, ever in my ridiculously long academic career taken a writing class, a decision I regret. My advice is to work on the craft of writing, preferably in an academic setting. I know I would benefit from developing writing discipline, because the more I write, the better I write, but I’m too easily distracted.
Keep writing no matter what people say about "finding a real job" and doing something that matters. Your words are important and so is the work you put into it. Don't give up and don't be afraid to share what you have to say.