7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Debbie Fuhry

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Debboe Fuhry) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning.

 

Debbie Fuhry is a writer of inspirational
fiction. She has a website and runs
the blog Grace is Sufficient.

 

1. Look before you leap. Don’t immediately sit down and start typing as soon as you realize the story in your head might be turned into a novel. Go ahead and make notes so you don’t lose your train of thought, but then take time to study a few of the books on the art of fiction writing.

2. Don’t be cheap. The old saying is still valid, “You have to spend money to make money.” Be willing to spend money—think of it as an investment—on books, magazine subscriptions, memberships to professional associations, and writers’ conferences.

3. Find a writing group. In addition to joining a professional association, look for a smaller group that meets locally. You will be encouraged by spending time with others who share your goals and interests, and you can often learn a lot, too. Such groups often include critique sessions. You will gain from having your own writing critiqued as well as from listening to the members comment on others’ work.

4. Make the best use of writers’ conferences. Attend a conference with the primary goal of listening and learning. Many writers attend their first conference with purposes of pitching their novel and making contacts. You will miss some of the best opportunities a conference affords that way.

5. Don’t bypass the agent. It’s natural to think, “If I sell directly to a publisher, I won’t have to hand over 15% of my earnings.” Setting aside the fact that plenty of publishers will not accept unsolicited submissions directly from writers, a good agent knows the legal and practical end of the business and most writers do not. Also, an agent can offer a layer of quality control between you and the publisher.

6. Cheer on other writers. It’s easy to be envious of others’ success, and if you feel that way, acknowledge it and move on. It’s something else entirely to be resentful about it, and usually indicates that you feel as though another writer’s success somehow diminishes your chances. It doesn’t.

7. Keep your expectations in line with reality. While it’s fine to be able to dream about writing multiple bestsellers, be realistic. Only a tiny percentage of authors are that successful. So keep dreaming and keep working toward your dreams, but don’t quit your day job yet!

 

Hook agents, editors and readers immediately.
Check out Les Edgerton’s guide, HOOKED, to
learn about how your fiction can pull readers in.

 

Other writing/publishing articles & links for you:

 

Want to build your visibility and sell more books?
Create Your Writer Platform shows you how to
promote yourself and your books through social
media, public speaking, article writing, branding,
and more. 
Order the book from WD at a discount.


 

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

0 thoughts on “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Debbie Fuhry

  1. Debbie Fuhry

    Thanks, Kristan. This was probably the hardest one for me to learn. True confession: it took me a while to be willing to fork over the money even to buy a few books on writing techniques.

  2. Kristan

    I think #2 is a really good point. As "starving artists" we get wrapped up in this idea that we’re already financially disadvantaged — I know I was certainly loathe to spend a single penny more than I had to — but you’re right: we have to be willing to invest in ourselves. This past June I forked over two grand to go to the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and it was definitely worth the investment. I think I’m a stronger, better writer, and I made a ton of good friends and connections.

COMMENT