I'm a novelist and a writing coach who helps writers turn pro.
Hint: It takes more than talent and hard work to get there. It takes heart.
4 PRO TIPS
1. Nurture your mindset
How much time do you spend criticizing yourself or hardening yourself against rejection? A lot, right? We all do. That’s why it’s only fair that you set aside time to shut down that negativity. It’s easy to sink into fear and bitterness – the enemies of creativity. It takes openness and vulnerability to make art. If you've lost some of your mojo, try this.
2. Read widely
There is no better way to learn. Read the literary award winners, read the bestsellers, and then read terrible books to remind yourself you do indeed have talent. More than anything, read unpublished books by friends or critique partners. It’s astounding what you can learn from books that are “almost there.”
3. Experiment freely
Should you include another point-of-view? Should you open with more action? Should you change the ending? Don’t agonize over it. Try it. (Always save the original!) Even when you don’t like the revision, you will gain something from the effort – new insights into your characters, a great line, another layer of conflict, or at the very least, you’ll stop wondering if you should do that particular thing.
4. Build community
There is a reason successful writers know a lot of other successful writers, and it has nothing to do with conspiracy. It has everything to do with dedication. When you spend years working toward something (accounting, swimming, writing), you make friends who are doing the same thing. You support each other, pushing each other to new levels, and eventually you’re all making it together.
I tackle topics like whether or not you should get an MFA, how to survive rejection, the top eight reasons I do not think you should self publish, and a few reasons why maybe you should.
"A darkly funny, compulsively readable debut novel about two young flight attendants coming of age at 35,000 feet." - St. Martin's Press, 2013
What is your dream? What's getting in your way? I've been a gatekeeper (gasp!), a grad-level writing instructor, and a once-struggling novelist, so I have felt your pain. Now I'm here for you with professional feedback and support.