Monday, June 26, 2017

Guest Post: IN THE BEGINNING by Jan Christensen


So you want to be a writer. So did I. I've probably written my million words--about eighty short stories and ten full-length novels, and a couple dozen articles, some published, some not.

To be a published author takes perseverance and a tough skin. I seem to have both. But not in the beginning.

It hurts to get that first rejection. It's discouraging to get the first dozen.

Baby steps are needed. A baby learns to walk by practicing every day, and that's what a beginning writer should do. You learn an awful lot by simply doing. But it doesn't hurt to read a book a month about writing, some of the better writing magazines, and now blogs.

Read best-selling authors' autobiographies or self-help books. Stephen King in On Writing said you should read an hour for every hour you write. You can learn a lot by reading the current best sellers and widely in the genre you're particularly interested in.

The ONLY way you'll ever get published is to write. Thinking about it, talking about it won't get you there. You have to go to that quiet spot with your writing tools and just do it.

Good luck!

Jan Christensen ©2017

Jan Christensen lives and writes in Corpus Christi, Texas now, after living on the road in an RV and writing wherever she happened to land. She concentrates on mysteries, both short and long. More about her here:


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Rejection does discourage all writers. However, it can also encourage us to improve our work. Sometimes, editors are generous enough to observe how this might be done. It's all part of the process.

As to writing, As Mary Higgins Clark has also observed: the way to be a writer is to write. No excuses--just do it.

Susan Oleksiw said...

Jan, you're absolutely right. I especially like the way you state the obvious and don't couch it in a long, verbose essay. If you want to write, do it. There's no other way.

I hope your surgery goes well, and I look forward to future posts.