Five Things I Wish Somebody had Told Me as a Fledgling Writer

1. People will give you terrible advice out of love. They’ll tell you to give up on writing and focus on a more stable career. Thank them, with a smile, for their concern. Then ignore them. Firmly.

2. Enjoy every success. It’s easy to look ahead and work for the next big success to the exclusion of where you are now. Don’t let this happen. It will steal your joy away.

3. There will be controversies and scandals and feuds. Writers like to be heard, and one way to do that is to hop on the bandwagon and shout along with everyone else. This doesn’t make you stand out. It almost always gets you in trouble. If you have a firm opinion on something and want to share it because it is dear to your soul, absolutely go ahead and do so. But instead of taking the time to be part of an argument, use that time to write.

4. If you’re not having fun anymore, go ahead and quit. There’s no shame in it. The rewards for writing are few and far between. Write for the love.

5. You’ll find that much of the wheeling and dealing happens at conventions in hotel rooms after the main event. And for women, you’ll be treated differently in this situation. It is not necessary, ever, to be someplace that you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Writers like to spin tales. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation where you could become a victim or villain in somebody’s story. Be a person of class, and eventually the opportunities you hope for will come to you. You won’t need to chase them.

Good luck!

5 Comments on “Five Things I Wish Somebody had Told Me as a Fledgling Writer”

  1. Pingback: Five Things I Wish Somebody had Told Me as a Fledgling Writer | Layna Pimentel

  2. I guess I don’t understand the female disparity I keep hearing about at conferences. It seems some of the biggest blockbusters over the past ten years were written by women, and 99% of the successful authors I know ‘personally’ are women. Is there still a disparity?

  3. Deborah! It’s so good to see you! I’m so glad you came. 🙂

    jrosebooks, there’s absolutely a disparity, and it’s more apparent in different genres. Horror is pretty much a men’s playground right now, even though they’re working hard to diversify and there are some fantastic female writers. But I’m talking more about putting yourself, man or woman, in an unsafe conference environment that could damage your person or your reputation. When it’s time for people to separate into tiny groups in hotel rooms, that’s when I tend to excuse myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *