It took me nearly five years to get my first novel, Perfect on Paper, published, so when it finally happened I was over the moon. I’d worked my tail off to make it happen, and after all that effort, at long last I could exhale, sit back, and enjoy myself as the sales rolled in.
Or so I thought.
Needless to say, the sales didn’t roll in, and I was more than a little disappointed.
I remember voicing my frustration to my editor on a phone call one day. “Why isn’t my book doing better?” I asked him. While I can’t remember his exact response, I’ll never forget the essence of it. He calmly told me that I should write another novel, then another. He said that success wouldn’t happen overnight, that it was important to build a body of work if I wanted to make a living as an author.
While they weren’t what I wanted to hear at the time, I took his words to heart and soon began writing a second novel, then a third. Now I have seven (with number eight releasing next month!), and I make a living as an author. My editor was right. It didn’t happen overnight, and it happened only because I kept writing. I will always be grateful to him for his sage counsel.
Other great pieces of advice I’ve heard over the years include:
*If there’s a story you want to tell, tell it
*To write a book, all you really need is an interesting character (or characters) who is (are) in an interesting situation–then go from there
*All major characters should want something
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received? Please share in the comments. I would love to hear from everyone who reads this post. Just think of how much we could all learn from one another!