Aug 26, 2007
What follows are my four cardinal rules for making it as a
writer. Never any guarantees - but if you follow these rules,
you'll be giving yourself the best possible chance:
- Don't think about an idea for a story or an article too long -
just write it. As far as the world is concerned, an unwritten
idea doesn't exist, and might not have even been thought, in the
- Finish what you start writing. As far as the world is
concerned, an unfinished piece of writing doesn't exist, and might
not have even been written, in the first place.
- Email, mail, or otherwise send out to a potential publisher
whatever you finish writing. Or publish it yourself. As far as the
world is concerned, a piece of writing that only you and your
friends and family but no one else knows about might not have even
been written, in the first place.
- If the publisher or editor turns your story down, send it right
out to another publisher or editor - there will always be another
one. Or publish it yourself. As far as the world is concerned, an
unpublished piece of writing might not have even been written-
Well, you get the picture. I hope this helps...
PS - It has been pointed out that the above four rules bear a
strong resemblance to Robert Heinlein's
five rules - which they do. My rules emphasize the
new importance of self-publishing, which I think is becoming even
more significant than traditional publishing in the 21st century.
And my rules try to address the psychological situations of
writers. But, clearly, they are indebted to Helnlein's.
More of my advice to writers: Fiction
Writers Group ...
Pure Southern Genteel ... Pillow Talk interview
Book Pleasures ... Smoking
Poet ... emonome
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Critics: Perilous Symbiosis
my Ask Lev podcast: 2-5 mins of advice about writing