The Author’s Guide To Inner Peace

  • You have heard show but don’t tell, then every scene must play itself out like a scene in film where language is secondary to what can be seen. Allow the reader to see with your words.
  • Do not waste your time on the status of your query to an agent. You cannot control whether the agent likes your query any more than you can control whether readers might one day like your book.
  • You are the greatest writer in the world to at least one reader. You are the worst writer in the world to another. Do not despair over bad reviews because no single author pleases every single reader.
  • Know that why you write is secondary to what you write.
  • Know that you probably won’t make much money at this but take comfort in the fact that 99.5% of writers throughout history had day jobs.
  • Write what is on your mind, not what everyone is talking about.
  • Write for your audience, not the market.
  • Engage bloggers via social media but don’t step over line that defines the author-blogger relationship lest you enjoy becoming persona-non-grata in social media.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously as you pursue publication. You’re not that shit hot.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously once you are published. You’re still not that shit hot.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously once you hit pay dirt. Now that you’re rich, you’re still not that shit hot.
  • Do get out of the house.
  • Do get away from the computer.
  • Do limit your Tweets to ten per day.
  • Do celebrate when it’s time to celebrate.
  • Do continue to master this craft. Because writing is a craft, just like carpentry. There are good carpenters and there are lousy ones just as there are good authors and lousy authors.
  • Don’t think for once second you are the reincarnation of Jack Kerouac because you’re not. Do think as often as you can that you might possibly write that well.
  • Get a decent chair.
  • Tell your partner you love them. Without them you’re basically crap. No, seriously, you are. They’re your greatest source of strength.
  • When you find an agent, do not be afraid to ask questions. Many authors are terrified to talk with their agent out of fear of losing that agent: the search for an agent is just that hard.
  • Read books. Read every day.
  • Write. Every. #$%. Day. Even if you have nothing to write, write.

That is all. Happy weekend.



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