Tag Archives: writing advice

I’ll take that advice!

I’ve posted a great deal on this blog about writing advice I’ve managed to learn from all quarters of publishing, writers, and at  romance writing conferences.

 

These are just some of the pearls of wisdom I’ve heard imparted.

But the single best piece of advice I ever heard came to me, not from a romance conference, or even a romance writer, but an editor who presented at a Writer’s Digest conference I attended in 2014.

She said, “Write the book of your heart. Don’t write to trends. Today’s million seller vampire trilogy will morph into tomorrow’s  spy/espionage bestseller and then an historical tome on war. Just write the book you’ve always dreamed of  writing. The one you want to read but have never found on any bookshelf or by any author. Write THAT book and make it your own.”

Lovelovelove that advice!!!!

Let’s see what some of the other authors in the MFRWauthor 52 week blog challenge have to say about advice. Week 33

And as always, if you need to find me, I’m usually here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors

I don’t like to give advice, but……

Number 51! We’re almost done with an entire year of blog posts. Today’s topic is a goodie — but then I’ve thought they were all goodies!

So, like my title says, I don’t like to give advice. The reason is simply because I don’t like to get it! Especially unsolicited.

But…(You knew that was coming, didn’t you?! HeeHee)

What advice would I give to New Authors? Well, it’s simple really. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM. EVAH!!!

I was 55 years old when my first book was published. A time when people are thinking towards retirement, and I started a whole new career. I had many naysayers when I first submitted to publishers and entered contests at the age of 54.

You’re too old to start, now.” 

“You’re not the right age or demographic or personality to write and be successful with romance writing.” 

“You’ll never make it. It’s a young person’s market.”

“You’re going to get your heart broken with all the rejections you’re going to get.”

I heard it all.

But I still dreamed I’d be published. I listened to those comments and then just as quickly forgot about them.

Yes, I’d had a few things published in my 20’s and 30s’ — mostly short stories in literary magazines that no one ever read, and professional nursing journals where a few people did see them. But nothing I could support myself with. The dream to be a published book author always stayed with me, though, despite that.

And yes, it took me until I was middle-aged, menopausal, and slightly neurotic before I ever saw a book of mine in print, but… and this is the key… I stuck to my dream and saw it fulfilled.

So, new writer who is hopefully reading this, if you want to write, write. If you want to be a published author, go for it. Don’t give up. Ever. EVAH!

I wonder what the other authors in this blog hop want to tell you? Stop by their sites and see:

 

3.

8 Comments

Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, MFRWauthor, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

#NoraRoberts, #WritingAdvice, and #MondayMorningQuarterbacking…

advice3

First, a disclaimer: this is not a post about football. I would be the last person on the planet to ever post about a game I know nothing about. I can’t even bulls**t my way through a discussion on it, so there.

Now. I was listening to a podcast recently about advice. How to give it, how to take it, when and why you should offer it. For the record, I don’t like to give advice routinely simply because I don’t like getting unsolicited advice. There’s always THAT person who thinks they know everything that will make your situation better and easier, and believe me, they are usually wrong. Having said that, there are two pieces of advice that I’ve heard throughout my writing career that I’d like to offer. One, I listened to.

First, the good piece of advice. I heard this at my very first RWA conference in San Antonio in 2014 from a chat with mega-wonderful Nora Roberts. Her advice to the following question,  “How can I find the time to be a prolific writer like you?” was simply the best thing I ever heard anyone say. It was:

advicenora2

 

See how good it is – someone made a Pinterest board for it!

Added to that advice was this little gem which I remind myself of daily:

advicenora

Words for a writer to live by.

advicelucy

Now to the worst writing advice I’ve ever received. Here’s the backstory: I entered a contest and this was part of one judge’s critique. “If you change the name of the heroine, make her younger and give her a tragic background, you MAY ( and yes, she put may in capitals!) have the beginning of a decent story here.  Otherwise, I don’t see this book ever getting published. I also feel your hero is dumb.”

And I paid to enter that contest. Last one I ever entered, that’s for sure!

Well, the laugh is on her,  because I took none of her advice and that book, COOKING WITH KANDY, is coming out in April from Kensington/Lyrical Shine and I didn’t change a thing about the book/characters/backstory.

So here’s the Monday morning quarterbacking mentioned in the title to this blog in the form of my own writing advice- completely unsolicited.

                                                 Write for yourself, first.

I don’t have a Pinterest block to put up on that one, so I just bolded it in the hope that it makes a statement. YOU are your first reader.  If you don’t write something for you, that you love, that sings to you, it won’t do so for anyone else. Remember that. I do. Everyday.advice4

‘Nuff said.

When I’m not giving out unsolicited advice, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, love, Pet Peeves, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

just one piece of advice…

During an interview recently – and I can’t tell you how much I LOVELOVELOVE saying I was “interviewed!” – I was asked about the one piece of writing advice that has stuck with me and gotten me through publishing hurdles, humps and heartbreak. It was actually difficult to come up with just that one exclusive iota of writing  wisdom that has resonated with me.

My first thought is the one I received from a literary agent many moons ago which I’ve written about before. Although this agent didn’t accept me as a client, she wrote a handwritten note at the bottom of her letter (this was pre-email, folks) stating, “…you are an excellent writer and I have no doubt I will be reading your published works one day soon. It only takes one “yes” to make a difference in your writing career…” I have never forgotten those words.

Another piece of writing advice that comes to mind is when I heard Nora Roberts speak at the National RWA conference in 2014. She was asked how she can be so prolific a writer and what was her secret. She replied, “Put your butt in the chair, your fingers over the keyboard and write. That’s it and that’s all.”  Butt in seat, fingers on keyboard, write. Can it be any simpler than this?

I would guess the piece of writing advice I’ve learned to repeat daily to myself, is actually one I gave myself  many years ago and had nothing to do with writing at the time I came up with it. I call it THE TAO OF NGUNGI ( pronounced na-goo-na-guy). It means, NEVER GIVE UP AND NEVER GIVE IN. I was going through a difficult period of my life and the days ahead looked bleak and scary. But when I started saying this to myself, it resonated loudly and I was able to get through the period relatively emotionally unscathed.

Now, when I want to have a writing pity party for myself, I repeat the phrase as many times as I need to in order to dig myself out of my depressing black hole. By practicing the TAO Of NGUNGI, I have pushed onwards all this years and finally have a publishing contract.

Never Give up and Never give in. One piece of really good advice – for life and for writing.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Advice…it’s not for the faint of heart

What advice would you give to a newbie or struggling writer?

I  have to admit I don’t usually give advice because I hate to GET advice, but this one I’ll answer.

I started writing when I learned to read. Really. When I was a kid I wrote stories about kids who were kidnapped by adults who wanted them to have a better life. They were brought to an island and given an unlimited supply of love, cookies, books and pets.

Yeah, I know. But I was a kid.

Throughout college and in my early nursing career, I wrote many articles for trade nursing magazines and publications.

When I became a parent I wrote many articles on child rearing and children’s issues. I had two children’s  fiction books published at this time.

In my 40’s and early fifties, I started writing articles on women’s health care, eye care, and general aging care. Hey, write what you know;  you know?!

Throughout all this non-fiction writing and publication, I also wrote adult fiction. It started with mystery novels, morphed into suspense that grew into romantic suspense and then finally just romance.

It is safe to say that I have been writing for 48 years. This year when I turn 55 years old, I will have my very first contemporary romance published.

The point of all this lead up is that I never, ever gave up writing.

Not during the years I didn’t have anything published and no one would look at or represent my stuff.

Not during the times when I had NO time to write.

Not during the moments of supreme self doubt that I could even string a written sentence together to be understood by others.

I kept writing, hoping, wishing and planning.

This year it will all pay off.

So here’s my advice to newbie and/or struggling writers: never,  ever,  ever stop writing.

If writing is the first and/or last thing you think about every day, then do it.

If you’re driving somewhere and a plot point jumps into your brain, stop and record it.

If you have only an hour to yourself each day because of work/family/whatever, then spend part of that hour – or all of it – writing.

If you have something to say, a story to tell, or a word of wisdom to impart, please, write it.

Don’t ever stop. Even if you think your words will never see any space but the lines on your laptop. Who cares? Write anyway.

Don’t stop. Don’t give in to self doubt. Don’t give up.

Just write.

2 Comments

Filed under Characters, Dialogue