Agent Irene Goodman Explains: If You Want to Be a Writer, Be a Writer

The first thing you need to do is write. That sounds easy, but it’s not.  Writing is hard. It’s isolating. Here are some time-honored tips that will always stand you in good stead:

1. Ass in Chair. I believe Nora Roberts said that, and it’s the best advice to writers that I have ever heard. If you want to be a writer, you have to sit down on a regular basis and face that blank screen. There is no other way. No excuses. Sit down and do it. Write something. Anything. Even if you throw it all out the next day, the point is that you exercised your craft. Writing is indeed a craft, one that gets better the more you do it.

(Do agents Google writers after reading a query?)

Irene Goodman is the founder of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
offers manuscript critiques every month, starting on the first day of each month, with all proceeds going to charity. Click on the link for more details on these critiques and charity auctions.


2. Honor your own time and space. Set aside a place in your home that is yours and yours alone. Even if it’s the dining room table that rarely gets used, once it becomes your writing space, don’t let anyone else mess with it. Announce to everyone that you have certain writing hours during which you cannot be disturbed. Don’t answer the phone or the doorbell while you are writing. Turn off your cell and don’t check your e-mail. If you can’t stand not answering a landline, get caller ID. That way, you’ll know who you missed, and you can always call them back. The point here is not just to avoid interruption. It’s to avoid the schmoozing that answering a phone requires. When your sister calls to chat, and you know she’s settling in for a nice, long gossipfest, it’s easier to call her later than it is to answer, get through the pleasantries, and then have to gracefully extricate yourself.

3. Set your own hours and give yourself a deadline. That’s what professional authors do. Why not start acting like one now? Actually, professional authors have a deadline in their contract. You may not have a contract with a publisher, but you can have one with yourself. Instead of thinking you’ll finish that novel when you get around to it, decide you’ll finish it next November. That seriously changes your attitude and the way you work.

(What does it mean when an agent says “This isn’t right for me”?)

4. Don’t believe what your friends and family say about your work. Not only are they not in a position to give you professional feedback, but they may not have the heart to tell you the brutal truth. The reason everyone liked Simon Cowell on “American Idol” is that he was always honest. He didn’t hold back. True, he could have been nicer at times, but his honesty was a gift that might have saved some of the contestants a lot of valuable time and heartache.

5. It gets better.
I’ve seen authors who weren’t very good when they started out, but they kept working at it, and today some of them are bestsellers. So don’t lose heart. People rarely become overnight stars.  Writing is a process, and if you keep at it on a regular basis, chances are it will pay off.


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

15 thoughts on “Agent Irene Goodman Explains: If You Want to Be a Writer, Be a Writer

  1. Patricia Hamill

    Thank you, Irene.

    Your advice on setting aside a time and place and establishing a deadline is perfect. I sat on a book my mother and I were writing for 5 years because I had the mentality that it would be finished whenever it was finished.

    Last Christmas, I actually sat down and put some time into finishing the book and knocked out about 70 pages over the break. For me, that was quite a feat, and I couldn’t help but wonder why I had put it off so long.

    Basically, it comes down to just making the time and getting it done.

  2. arsjimc


    Apart from securing your child a i’m all over this the preferred dressed variety, toddler uggs are best for keeping very small tootsies warm when Jack port Frost’s really winds blow freezing and hard.

    Whether that you’re based in La, New York, or any place in between, those toddler ugg footwear are scorching, hot, incredibly hot!

    At the same time, these adorable baby shoes or boots are great to customize any outfit and tend to be a fast hit transformed true classic

  3. arsjimc

    . They’re just baked with a significant cookware to allow them to stay with each other.

    It dish is actually an appreciated in mine, considering that some Czegeny little girls are bedroom as well as able to support in your kitchen with the help of cooking in addition to preparing your receipee inside my mother’s Hungarian the kitchen area. A combat in this lunchboxes was constantly its own stun as well. This particular food is primarily older in addition to hidden secret family members one particular

  4. arsjimc

    . Likewise, and this also is why I think they didn’t work with u . s ., a fabulous swan (or maybe a canine friend) that could be in the same location 24×7 does not sign up with all the geese. I feel that when Possible have shifted any swan decoys daily or simply many daily, incase Possible experience upset the actual geese a few times by means of moving about any decoy as they quite simply ended up surrounding, the actual swan decoy could possibly have did wonders. On the other hand, as mentioned this is a few days place in which we have not been in that respect there enough to generate that actually work

  5. arsjimc

    .If you happen to be going trekking, a set of cargo shorts are de rigeur.And when you are sending your canine friend out trick-or-treating you’ll find an endless selection of possibilities.It’s likely that there is a costume enhance yours!

    If you ever and your canine are a good fan of any particular executive or faculty sports squad, there are an abundance of sweatshirts in addition to jerseys designed to have the point through.Dogs so, who prefer very little adornment as they possibly can, but which also want to be a little from the personality upon, can don hats in addition to bandanas designed used only for them

  6. arsjimc

    .The optimum fit length of time wise, can basically be checked remember when you are standing in a skate that could be laced way up.The lengthiest toe of this foot really should lightly feather the end of a toecap.Any time you bend your own knees a little (like when you skate) the toes have to pull completely off from the front of this toecap.Whether they don? t take away, then get higher half a fabulous size, or do you want growing room or space, then get higher half a fabulous size

  7. arsjimc

    .For example it may possibly say “Loading Graphic From” or even “Waiting Designed for“.This really is great exposure for one’s website.

    Whenever you register ones account utilizing eBay, use an email address which can be associated together with website.For instance, if your internet-site is “”, you could use “” since the email address regarding your along with account.You will be able to list this email in the written text of a listing only if it’s the same one you useful to register an individual’s account

  8. arsjimc

    .In addition, when you can be active along with moving all the time, you are weight loss after the process.

    4)Get Rid of Junk Food Within your Fridge Will let Lose Excess weight

    And that means you won’t reach out to these sin food for all those bored or for all those watching TELEVISION SET.

    5)Eat Slowly Loss of Weight

    Big butter jesus started meal, our chemistry of the brain takes about 20 or so minutes to signal that we all are whole

  9. arsjimc


    Now using this said, its not all leather styles are best for bikers.When getting leather outfits, you should take into account:

    1.The sort of leather this clothing includes.

    Its not all Leathers are set up Equal
    Let’s start at the very top.The best and quite a few expensive household leather grains tend to be full-grain.These are manufactured from high high quality hides as well as imperfections are removed.Regarding optimum 100 % grain, pick naked set

  10. klelino

    .Most agents won’t are provided right out and give this, but for those who ask for the purpose of suggestions on ways to lower ones own costs, you need to listen to the answers.

    If you show you will be working towards consistently improving your state of health, your insurance underwriter can probably offer cheaper life insurance premiums.You’ll have to show documentation of this improvements, and maybe undergo persistent medical review by the life insurance vendor, but it’s worth your effort

  11. mmelldonn

    . A small contractor does not have an agenda like trying to rule the world. A small contractor has a family and in most cases his word. A little contractor is local for the most part and if he has any pride in his work, he would be in touch with the homeowners concerns. In addition, if the homeowner did reference checks on the contractor. See (“The Art of Hiring a Contractor) then fixing the problem should be easy to resolve. Now if it sounds like this is an assault on Big Business then I suppose it is

  12. sroscupmarku


    Remember to tailor your clothes to the place you’ll be playing. Don’t show up to a dark wooded area in a bright yellow jumpsuit or else you’ll be covered in more paint splatters than a Pollack painting. Get a good pair of shoes that are worn in. No one wants to go home with blisters. Get something to cover your face. A mask, perhaps, or go bandito style with a bandana. Paint can be sticky, and it’s easier to clean if it’s not all over your skin.

    Then there’s the weapon-of-choice


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.