Guest Blog Post: Why You Shouldn’t Expect to Earn a Living From Writing Day One

Guest Blog Post: Why You Shouldn’t Expect to Earn a Living From Writing Day One


Image By Athena

You’re a budding writer. You’ve just landed your first writing job and you are thinking “finally, I’m going to make the big bucks!” Right?


Don’t be fooled when looking at the likes of J.K Rowling and Stephenie Meyer – we can’t all make a massive fortune like them! In fact, most writers don’t make a lot of money at all. You shouldn’t expect to earn a living from writing from day one. And here’s why…

No Proof, No Pay-Check!

When you’re trying to bag your first writing job, you can’t expect to get it based solely on your A in GCSE English! Anyone can get a qualification, but publishers are looking for people with experience and talent.

And you can’t expect a wage for your writing if you don’t have any examples of your talent! How do employers know that you’re any good? They don’t. So don’t expect to get employed as a writer if you have no real proof that you can write.

So how do I do that? You ask? Well, it’s simple really – as long as you aren’t expecting a pay check!

If you write fiction, sign up to websites such as Writer’, or, where you can publish your work for free and build up a fan base. This will show potential employers how popular your writing is, based on reviews and feedback given by others. If you’re an aspiring journalist, what better to kick-start your career than by having a blog? If you join voluntary schemes such as GKBC’s Writer Academy, you can build up a huge portfolio of published work on the net.

Now, I know that if you’re still reading this then you really want to make a career out of writing. But unless you spend a good while following the tips I gave above, don’t expect to make a fortune! And even then, there’s always competition….

Competition, Competition, Competition

Even if you follow these handy guidelines, you still shouldn’t expect a mass of banknotes to come flooding in – especially if you’re a new writer – because the odds are, there’s always going to be someone better than you. Maybe they’ve had more work published. Or perhaps they’re simply more talented. Either way, you can’t anticipate a huge salary when you’re compared to those who have been in the industry a lot longer.

At the beginning of your career, you’ll spend most of your time sitting on the sidelines and watching others achieve all the glory. You’ll try your best, and sometimes even then you may not succeed.

You might not like it. You might not even understand it. But you’ve got to accept it. Because if you’ve made it to the end of this post, and still want to be a writer, then I guarantee that you will succeed. Because real writers aren’t in it for the money; they’re in it simply for their love of writing and willingness to succeed.

Featured images:

Mikhaila Friel is a budding writer and a devoted blogger. She writes for GKBCinc and she recommends their Writers’ Academy to other aspiring writers.

NaNoWriMo and Why I Can’t Participate

NaNoWriMo and Why I Can’t Participate

nanowrimoThat time of year is here again–well, it’s always here. NaNoWriMo! I have never done NaNoWriMo because I have always been engaged in other writerly endeavors. I am a one book at a time person. Just because I’m outlining a book as I’m writing another doesn’t mean I’ll be writing that book once the outline is done. Instead of being able to participate in NaNo this year, I will be working on The Stars Are Infinite and will be getting back to When Heaven Was Blue.

That being said, I once participated in ViNoWrimo, which was Vicious Writing Month, back when the Vicious Writing group had a publishing company before going under due to poor management. So, take notice small presses: poor management will do you in. Big time. In any case, we were all supposed to write this one book in a month, and the best book received a contract. I didn’t win. I was still green at the time, but I will tell you it was about a 19th century girl giving sexual favors to a much older man in exchange for receiving money to go to university, as going to university was taboo in that day for women. I’ll probably get back to it, because I want to write a Victorian drama, but it will be more mature–still YA, of course, but possibly pushing NA boundaries.

Of course, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to participate in NaNoWrimo.

Guys, I don’t know how authors do it. I can see how self-published authors are able to do it because they can set their own deadlines and change them as they see fit, but with traditional or small press authors, I don’t see how it’s possible. We’re always working on the next novel that we want to be published. Do some authors plan their NaNo novel in advance and eventually want to publish it down the road somewhere? Or is NaNo just a chance for them to let loose? I practically have a NaNo all the time, because when I start a novel, it takes generally a month for me to draft, only because I have a thorough outline. Revisions, of course, take longer, and they should.

Here are a few comments from writers who will be participating in NaNo this year:

Katie Harder-Schauer: I’m participating in NaNo this year. My book is going to be an apocalypse novel.

Jennifer Castillo: Yup! I am. Year two, here I come! Book tagline: She is out for revenge…against those who forgot her name.

Mariah E. Wilson: Part of me REALLY wants to, but I want to finish Pitbully, and I don’t think I can be effective at doing both. I have an idea that I’m mapping out in my head…just in case (but it’s a secret).

Amy Carlson: I’m doing NaNo this year! I have a bit of an outline done, but I’m sure I’ll end up pantsing a large portion of it.

Wanndering: I guess Nano is the kind of push amateur and aspiring writers need to finish their novels. I know it is for me.

And a funny comment from my publisher, just cause. It was in response to sending in The Stars Are Infinite in to him in December.

Raymond Vogel: I was wondering if you were getting me anything for Christmas.

So are you guys doing NaNo this year? What are your plans? Do you outline or pants it? If you’re an author, how do you make time for NaNo? If you’re a writer, what does NaNo do for you?

Tomorrow my blog post will be very simple. It simply consists of a contest I have been entered in to that I hope you will all vote on When Stars Die.

Some Reasons Amazing Authors Choose to Self-Publish

Some Reasons Amazing Authors Choose to Self-Publish

I was at a writer’s group meeting Thursday about the e-zine we wanted to start. Before the founder of the group even came, we were discussing self-publishing. Many in the group are strongly against it, and I did my best to defend it, telling them the one story about a friend of mine who sent out over 400 queries. She received rejections for every one, and most of them were the same: “Love it, but not a fit for us”– basically meaning they don’t know how to market it. So she went and self-published and didn’t regret the choice and seems ridiculously happy she made the decision because now people are reading her books and she’s making money doing what she loves and has a fanbase and doesn’t have to split her profits but with the distributors–and she just seems to be doing pretty darn well running her own creative business.

They did admit there were good self-published books, but they were of the opinion that those books should have gone the traditional route.


Need I point to the above story? There are many reasons an amazing author may choose to self-publish. Let me list some.

  1. They tried to publish traditionally but basically were told that there would be confusion on how to market said book.
  2. They like control, don’t want to share profits, and are business-minded enough to know how to sell well on their own.
  3. They don’t want to wait ten thousand years to see their books in print. I get it. They stand less of a chance at being able to make a full-time job out of it, but let’s not judge those writers who just make writing a part-time job and are satisfied with that choice.
  4. Some have already gone the traditional route but weren’t happy with the entire process of going from draft to print. And it happens, and so they choose to take it upon themselves to self-publish because they already have this established fanbase and have experience just from having been traditionally published the first time.
  5. Some people don’t want to risk the meager advances they may get, coupled with the pitifully low royalties.

I just don’t think we should pick at people’s choices for wanting to self-publish, even if it is a book you think would have been traditionally published. I know if I were self-publishing and making bank, the only way I’d let a publisher buy me out is if they gave me a 6 figure advance. As it were, self-publishing WELL is costly, so I’m very happy with my decision to be with a small press.

Why I Write

Why I Write

tumblr_mldcekNfEE1s5prmbo1_500Today’s guest blogger is Isabella Marks. You can find her here. Enjoy!

The easy answer, the cliché, and the honest truth all rolled into one: because I have to.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, because I don’t HAVE to. I just want to so badly that NOT doing it would leave a serious hole in my life, not just in how I spend my time, but in how I see the world.

I first TOLD stories before I even started school, getting my toys, books, and clothes into an order, and then bringing them out one at a time to show the audience I was telling my story to.  

I first wrote stories in the first grade. Our teacher would give us weekly writing assignments, and I loved it. I learned how to use the dictionary to look up words because I wanted to spell them right. I took my writing seriously, even if it was just about Bert and Ernie making macaroni and cheese for their friends.

As elementary school wore on I would live for those times when we would have creative writing assignments. In third grade our teacher would bring in piles of pictures taken from magazines, and make us choose one by reaching into a bag. We had no control over what we would get, and we HAD to write a story using the picture. Our whole class hated that bag. Except me. I loved it.

In middle school, I entered the Young Authors contest four years in a row, and in seventh grade gave up writing, and then knew I was going to do it forever, all within twenty four hours.

For my Young Authors submission that year I’d written a story about a girl whose best friend died when they were in first grade. In my story she visited her friend’s grave every year on the last day of summer to tell her about all the fun things she missed doing with her, and on the last day of school to tell her about the school year she missed.

My teacher wouldn’t let me submit it because it wasn’t ‘fun’.

That made me think something was wrong with me because I’d enjoyed writing it. I didn’t have ‘fun’ writing it. I wasn’t obsessed with death, and I certainly didn’t get pleasure out of the idea of a dead first grader.

But I enjoyed telling the story. I enjoyed the process of starting a story with a funeral, and then bringing my character through all the emotions she had through her years of growing up, all while helping her keep track of missing her friend.

The story made me think of my grandfather, who’d taken me shopping for crayons before I started kindergarten, and then wanted to hear every detail of my first day of school. I was going to tell him about my first day of school every year but he died before I got out of kindergarten.

I enjoyed telling a story that was about real feelings.

The girl who won that year told a story about spending the day at the mall.

I gave up writing that day, assuming I did it wrong and didn’t understand what it was supposed to be about.

The next day I put Cemetery Conversations into one of my trapper keepers (I had three that I bought at a garage sale, and used them to store all my stories, poems, journals, and ideas), and lay down on my bed to write a letter to myself so I wouldn’t forget WHY I was giving up writing.

In the process of writing that letter I realized that I wrote for myself, and not for anyone else.

I wrote because I had things I wanted to say. And the written word allowed me to say them the way I wanted to.

I could denounce evil. I could celebrate justice. I could use words to love what was worth loving, and to explain why some things weren’t worth admiring.

I began to journal constantly. I began to make myself write, even when the words wouldn’t come I’d write about breakfast, or what I’d seen on TV, or what I wanted my mom to understand about my life.

I’d write stories on the school bus. In study hall. On my bed. With a flashlight at night. On the porch. Sometimes instead of doing homework. And once at a slumber party when everyone else there made fun of me for not knowing how to fit in, I sat in the living room by myself and wrote a story where I did fit in.

And that is why I write.

I have control. In real life, most of us accept that we can’t control everything. Alone with my notebook and pen, or the old typewriter I had in high school, or the computer I bought in college, or the laptop I have now (even though I still carry a notebook everywhere, because you never know when an idea will strike), I have control over the worlds I create, and the characters I bring to life.

I can say the things I can’t say otherwise.

I can even tell my grandfather about my day.

That’s why I write.
The Road Less Travelled By–A Guest Post by Seán Cooke

The Road Less Travelled By–A Guest Post by Seán Cooke

401933_533941753307579_888632889_nToday’s guest post is by Seán Cooke on the best route of publication! You can find his website here.

First off, I’d like to thank Amber for letting me do this blog post. I would tell you to go check out her awesome blog but, well… you’re obviously already here! Kudos to you for having such good taste.

I’m here to discuss what route of publication I think I’ll take and, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure where I will end up. However, I have a plan and it predominantly focuses on the traditional route which is, in the 21st century, the road less travelled. Freaky, isn’t it?

My dream, like most writers, is to be published the traditional way. I want to be in bookstores. I want to do book signings in my local store, get that new-page-smell and the weird looks from customers as I lurk around my section, sniffing everything I can find. I want the excitement of agents, contracts and, if I’m lucky, advances. Most of all, I want to do it because the books I read and the authors I’ve grown up on did it that way.

The traditional route isn’t gone. No giant boulders have blocked its entrance. No blistering winds knock adventurers off its course. Sure, the surrounding undergrowth has started to impede and narrow the path, creating less space every year for adventurers to walk, but the path still exists. I don’t see the “dying” traditional route as an impossibility, I see it as a challenge. People still get signed up. People still succeed. And yes, despite what you’re told, people do actually make a living with their writing. The question is, are you good enough? Only one way to find out.

I would like to try my way along this route first. I want to walk in the footsteps of heroes and fallen alike, facing the struggles that some have risen from, and most have fallen victim to. If I can get published now, it is a testament to my writing. I love my work and I trust my writing, I’m not going to shy away from the harshest critics of all. I also want my writing to be read by others, like all writers, so naturally I will go the route that gives me the widest readership.

“What if that fails?”

“Who said that?”

“It is I, the lone wolf on my path through the Amazonian forest.”

I imagine I will someday join the brave wanderer on his path to self-publication. I like to see it as a challenge, a way to test not only my writing, but also my business skills. It takes more than just writing prowess to succeed as a self-published author. You need to be good at marketing, management, finances, networking and many more avenues. Luckily, the social media world we live in makes this ten times easier than it once was.

Am I going to go straight to self-publishing? No. Will I if my traditional publishing route fails me? Yes. How long will I give it until I throw in the towel with traditional publishing and move to a new ring? Not a clue!

Only time will tell how long my resilience will last in the traditional publishing world. I’d like to believe it won’t be tested long, as I will be swept up for the literary god that I am. Hey, we can all have dreams…

The real question is, what route do you intend to go down and why?

Advice to Aspiring Writers

Advice to Aspiring Writers

WebImageSay hello to today’s guest blogger, Quincy Allen! You can find him here.

Don’t take this advice.

That’s the take-away you’ll have by the time you finish this blog. But you’ll have to read the whole thing to understand why you shouldn’t take this advice. It’s a sort of Catch-22, one that already has a smile on my face. Oh, and if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book Catch-22, stop what you’re doing right now and go absorb that data.

But I digress.

There isn’t a writer—aspiring or otherwise—who hasn’t been informed over and over again by sage experts about the dos and don’ts of writing. We’ve all heard them: “Avoid adverbs” (so sayeth the King); “Keep it under 100,000 words,” (so sayeth the publishers); “Never use a prologue,” (so sayeth the agents); “Third person omniscient is dead,” (so sayeth the critics).

In fact, in this business you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting another “expert” who will be happy to tell you how to write, how to market, how to network, etcetera, etcetera. It’s a veritable litany of iron-clad rules doled out from the successful and not-so-successful lunatics who have chosen the publishing industry as their stomping grounds—including myself. You know who I’m talking about. It’s those writers and editors and agents and publishers who bandy about the phrase “Thou shalt” or “Thou shalt not” something, and do so with the certainty of Moses laying down the Ten Commandments.

Here’s a little secret: we’re all lying to you.

Most of us don’t know we’re lying, of course, but in the final analysis, we are. I’ve been watching this industry pretty closely for almost four years now, and if there is one absolute rule you can rely upon from the ocean of them that exists, it’s that there are no absolutes. They simply don’t exist.

So when you hear someone say, “Here’s how the writing world works,” or “You need to do it this way,” or “You should never ever…” as if such sage wisdom is being handed down from on high by the Prince of Darkness himself, you need to raise an eyebrow, offer a subtle but quirky grin, and go find the exception. It’s out there, I guarantee it.

Then you need to understand the rule and why the exception worked. No mean feat, that.

Having said all that, you also need to factor in a few things, particularly if you’re an aspiring writer rather than an established one. Those very same people offering such sage wisdom are mostly likely gate keepers for new writers. It doesn’t make them necessarily “right,” although it doesn’t make them necessarily wrong, either. It just means they’re in the way. You either need to give a gate keeper exactly what he or she wants, or you need to find a way around.

Welcome to the real world.

Established writers, on the other hand, get to break the rules—and many of them do. Regularly. Prologues, adverbs, 140k-word-counts, third person omniscience, etc…. There truly is no deodorant like success, and readers spoon it up like smothered burritos after a Friday night bender. (You’d have to have gone to college with me to get that reference). Basically, if you’re an established author, you’ve become an “expert,” and one providing revenue for agents, editors and publishers. It’s all a matter of which way the money flows, and at this point you have crossed a threshold, becoming a gate keeper in your own right.

The third group is the newest and, by far, my favorite. New and established writers alike are breaking rules and, by virtue of the eBook phenomenon, becoming successful at it. If ever there was an end run around the gate keepers, it is the almighty internet. But when you go at it alone on the Internet, you better know what you’re doing.

It’s all about awareness.

You can absolutely break the rules handed down from the establishment and be successful. That establishment no longer has iron-clad control of the marketplace, and so the rules they handed down for a century don’t apply nearly as much as they once did. Make no mistake, they’re truly pissed off about that. Did you see “Return of the King” when the One Ring goes into the lava? That image of Sauron’s great eye spinning and smoking and screaming as it tumbles to the earth and explodes. That’s pretty much the old-school publishing industry right now. But you better know what the rules are.

This is a golden age for writers, and the Internet has offered us an end-run around the gate-keepers. It’s a hard path, but it’s also a viable one… if you know what you’re doing.

So, why is it that with all these rules being shouted at us, we can clearly see that they aren’t rules at all? The reason is a simple one: there are nearly seven billion definitions of what a good book is on the surface of this rock we call home, one for every sentient being that has access to the Internet. Granted, there’s a fair amount of overlap and concentrations of similar definitions. What you have to decide is how big a segment of that populace you want to cater to… and then write the books that are inside you. It’s both a business and a creative decision, and only you can make it.

Ultimately, all of this depends on where you want to come in on the food chain of the publishing industry. How far do you want to step outside the guidelines? How far up the ladder do you want to go? How much are you willing to gamble on your own success rather than the success of some publishing “institution?” You need to understand all of this if you’re going to break the rules.

The bottom line is that there is a different path for each and every successful writer, and the notion of “rules” simply doesn’t apply… save one: Write a good book. And keep in mind that the definition for a “good book” has grown exponentially in the past few years because of the eBook revolution. More writers are satisfying more reading appetites because the “Big Six” (now the Big Five because one went extinct—there’s a message there, by the way) don’t control everything anymore.

So, people will tell you “Thou shalt…” and they’ll tell you “Thou shalt not…” just like I have in these past paragraphs. Take note of all of this “sage wisdom” with considerably more than a single grain of salt. But also don’t forget it.

If everyone’s path is different, then everyone has a different set of rules. You need to go out there and learn as many of everyone else’s rules as you can, and then experience or invent those rules that work specifically for you.

Look around. Research.  Know what your options are both in your writing and in the business of your writing. Be informed. And when you have a clear path, take it.

I guarantee you’ll make mistakes. And for every mistake you make, you’ll be a little wiser, a little better at your craft, and a little closer to being able to hand down sage wisdom that aspiring writers should take with more than a grain of salt.

Just like the rest of us.

The Madness of Self-Doubt: A Guest Blog Post by Mariah Wilson

The Madness of Self-Doubt: A Guest Blog Post by Mariah Wilson

tumblr_mmvohvsRXb1rnvzfwo1_500This afternoon will be a blog post by Mariah Wilson on facing self-doubt as a writer. You can find her blog here.


If you’re a writer then you know what the biggest obstacle to being a writer is. It’s not writer’s block, it’s not the critics, it’s not even the people who tell you that your dream isn’t worth dreaming. It’s the little voice inside your head that comes alive to fan all of your insecurities. It’s the little voice known as self-doubt.

Self doubt kills careers before they start. Self doubt stops novels and poems halfway through and they sit in the pile labeled “I’m not good enough” and as that pile grows, so does self doubt. See, he’s a greedy little voice and he likes to feed himself, and he’ll devour you if you’re not careful. Here’s what I do when my own self doubt gets out of control.

1) Remind yourself that you are still a student of the craft. No matter how many years you’ve been writing, you still have more to learn, if not about the craft, then about yourself. Nothing is a wasted effort as long as there was effort made. Learning is grand, let yourself learn.

2) Savour your successes. Remember that character description that you nailed the first try the other day? Print it off and pin it on your wall to remind yourself that you are capable of great things. Do the same thing with anything you wrote that you think is awesome. The pride you will feel reading those gems months later will surely light your darkest hour. Remind yourself that you can, and do, get it right. Probably more often than you give yourself credit for.

3) Be specific. When you’re looking at something you’ve written and you’re getting those dark doubty feelings, ask yourself why. Often, it’s not the entire piece we are doubting, but a specific element. If you can pinpoint it, you can fix it, whether it be weak description, poor characterization etc. etc. etc. Let your doubt guide you to the places that need fixing and know that you can fix them.

4) Remember, writing is a process, it’s not a once and done kind of deal. Characters need to be shaped, worlds need to be brought to life, catastrophe has to happen and beautiful disasters aren’t solved overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your novel won’t be either. Give it time, give it patience, give it confidence. Only you can write your story, so go write it.

5) Self doubt only grows if you feed it. So don’t feed it. A small amount of doubt is healthy, it keeps our egos in check and saves us from turning into narcissistic maniacs, but do not feed the doubt. Keep it the size of a kitten, not a cougar. Don’t feed your doubt. Tell yourself nice things about yourself and your writing. Find positive things to say and refrain from thinking or saying negative things about your writing. Be kind to yourself.

6) Find people who lift you up and inspire you. Sometimes, regardless of the methods we’ve tried, our doubt gets away on us. This is when you should find someone who inspires you and let yourself be inspired by them. Let their life and their determination help you to realize that you are capable of the same greatness they possess that inspires you.

7) When in doubt, get a second opinion. Take your piece and show it to a friend. This friend must be honest and you have to trust that they are giving you a real opinion and not a white washed, sugar coated version of the truth. Show your piece to this friend. If they like it, then stop doubting yourself, you are doing it right. If they don’t like it, stop doubting yourself and ask them where it went wrong. Once you know what the problem is, it can be fixed.

8) I do not recommend drowning your doubt in alcohol or trying to drug him out of your system. Both ways have been proven highly ineffective in the battle of self doubt and actually only turn doubt into a raging monster. Try going for a walk to clear your head instead. Go to the gym and sweat him out. Put your work away and go play, have fun and live life, enjoy life. Sometimes a good clear head is all we need.

9) We writers think we’re pretty special, like we’re the only people who are crippled from time to time by self doubt, but the truth is, doubt is not choosy. Doubt will consume anything, attack anyone. No one is immune. If you realize that everyone doubts, you won’t feel so alone when you’re stuck doubting yourself, again.

The next time you are faced with doubt just take a deep breath and think happy thoughts. Doubt hates positivity and confidence, he can’t survive through those two things. If that fails, give doubt a name and kill him in your next book.

Seeking Guest Bloggers!

Seeking Guest Bloggers!

tumblr_mmvs8zWBO21ru3ss4o1_500I would love some guest bloggers for next week. There will be one guest post a day starting Monday, and the topics are first come, first serve. I will cross out the topics as they are taken by whoever wants the topic first. Here are the topics:

1. Your writing process The Irish Wench

2. Advice you would give to aspiring writers Quincy Allen

3. How you come up with titles for your WIPs Charles Yallowitz

4. What publishing route you think is best for you (traditional, partner publishing, self-publishing, ect…) and why sabooke

5. Why you write isabellaemilymarks

6. What inspires your writing the most erickeys

7. How you deal with self-doubt as a writer Mariah

Those are all the topics! Choose from one, comment, and if you comment first, I’ll cross it out and put your name next to it to show you own the topic. The blog posts will be posted in the order they arrive in my e-mail!


Please check back to see who has what topic, just in case you have one.

Advice to Young Writers

Advice to Young Writers

tumblr_mmkxkqNXQQ1sqwr7co1_500 I am not here to deliver any harsh reality advice about being a writer because there is enough of that nonsensical advice floating around. I want to put a stop to that because I see a lot of young writers divvying out this advice, and I’m not sure where they’re getting it from. Jaded writers who had to *gasp* work really hard to get published? Jaded writers who had to *gasp* put up with rejection? Just stop giving out advice that basically tells writers why they don’t want to be writers. Yeah, writing is hard and time consuming and maybe soul sucking from time to time, but it is not for other writers to decide who should stick with writing and who shouldn’t. That is up for the individual writer alone to decide, not you. Never you. All you need to be doing is writing.

So here’s some positive advice to encourage you, rather than deter you.

Writing is freaking hard but so is anything worthwhile. You’re young. Most likely your writing won’t be publishable until you’re older–and I’m talking about publishable for the big leagues, not your school newspaper or anthology, though that is still pretty cool. And even if you do get published, that won’t be your best starting out. I don’t think When Stars Die will be my best starting out. I’d like for it to be, but I’m 22 going on 23. I still have so many years left in my life to improve my craft.

Don’t be in a hurry to publish. Have you ever noticed that when teen writers make mistakes, reviewers excuse them on the basis that they’re teens? But when adult writers make mistakes, they’re chastised as bad writers? You want to make the best darn first book you can, so don’t be in a hurry to find an agent who will launch you to publishing stardom. Take your time. I’m so glad I took my time.

Don’t write to become rich, but it doesn’t mean you can’t dream about it.  I always say set your goals high so you work that much harder. My dream is to be a full-time writer, and I am going to work super hard to make that a reality. I’m going to keep writing and doing the best that I can to make certain I am noticed.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re a crap writer. “The expert in anything was once a beginner.” It’s going to be rough starting out, but you’re going to get better. You know why? Because you have to. Because you have options now. You can self-publish, and while it’s not easy, it means you can get your work read by others and earn money. That option didn’t exist when I was thirteen or fourteen or even eighteen. Self-publishing has always been around, but it was never accessible without thousands of dollars. And you’re young! The writing will always be there, and there are so many resources out there that can help you better your writing. Have fun with it. Remember why you started writing and stick with it.

And last, don’t act like you’re an expert, because you’re probably not–hence why I seethe when I read such negative advice from such young writers. You may have had an essay published or even a short story, but you know as much about the business as someone unpublished. The business is fickle, ever changing, so don’t profess to know it. I don’t profess to know it at all.

Why I Don’t Post Tips on Grammar

Why I Don’t Post Tips on Grammar

grammar If you’ve read my blog since its inception not that long ago, you’ll notice I haven’t done a single blog post on grammar. This isn’t because there are ten bajillion other posts out there on grammar or because I was a glorified grammarian when I was a tutor at my uni’s writing center, pretty much having to work on grammar first before I could even get to content. This is because, when it comes to creative writing, grammar is unimportant to me. Grammar is the easy part, the easiest thing you will ever do with your writing.

I know there are some hardcore grammarians out there who are probably cringing reading the above sentence, but it’s true: I don’t give a flip about your grammar. Unless your grammar is so atrocious that I actually have to wonder what you’re trying to say, grammar is just not that important to me in a story. Obviously I want grammar polished in published books, but when it comes to drafts, I just don’t think it’s that important to comment on–not to mention you can find plenty of websites dealing with whatever grammar issues you have.

Grammar can always be fixed in the proofing stage.

In any case, when you guys come to my blog and read some of my ‘madness’ writing advice, I write those with the assumption that you’re not too worried about grammar, that you too know grammar is unimportant until the very last draft. Content is what I focus on first and foremost because content is the hardest to nail. You’ve got to have a developed plot, characters, sub-plots, secondary characters, and so on and so forth. Those elements are crucial to a good story. If you try and focus on grammar upfront, you could miss those key elements as you’re revising. Sure, it is important how you write your sentences in order to portray what you would like to show, but I’m just not as concerned about your commas as I am your content. Plus, I’m still not convinced that style can be taught, and style is what really gives your writing its overall flair–style being separate from grammar and all.

So I don’t offer grammar advice because I see it as unimportant, and there is just so much of it floating around the internet, far more than writing advice itself.

Don’t get me wrong. Grammar is important, but as I said, it’s not crucial until the very last draft.