Writing Advice from Famous Authors

Regan Platt is an offline marketing intern at Author Solutions, the world leader in supported self-publishing. She is currently a senior at Indiana University where she studies English. Regan is in Indiana University’s Liberal Arts Management Program, an honors level interdisciplinary program that incorporates Kelley School of Business courses with a liberal arts education. 

Don’t stop reading.Don't stop reading.

William Faulkner: “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

Meaning: Faulkner emphasizes the importance of immersion. If you constantly surround yourself with writing, then you can start to observe both valuable techniques and common pitfalls. As you put to practice what you’ve observed, your own writing will become all the better for it.

Write the book you can’t find.

Toni Morrison: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”               

Meaning: This quote can be read as a call to arms for dreamers and “creatives.” The world would have so much less to read and dream if those with great stories never shared them.

Follow your instincts.

Saul Bellow: “You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”                                    

Meaning: Bellow comforts and encourages fellow writers who work in bursts of passion. Inspiration may come at the strangest and least convenient of times, yet when the muse calls it is best to answer.

Beware the predictable.Robert Frost Quote

Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

Meaning: Frost suggests that strong writing occasionally necessitates a stream-of-consciousness technique that leaves only feelings and ideas. This emotional work results in literary moments of ingenuity.

Show, don’t tell.

Anton Chekhov: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Meaning: Our final quote by Chekhov reverberates the traditional writing advice “show, don’t tell.”  Engaging writing leaves a reader to do some of the “visualizing” work themselves. Rather than dully listing the circumstances, great writing will reveal what’s happening in an innovative way.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Keep Writing When You Want to Quit

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Rodney Hunt, author of  “Out of Control: Finding Hope in a Broken World.” You can learn more about Rodney by visiting his blog. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Fighting with Doubt

I am never going to finish.

There are plenty of other books out there already.

There are so many better writers than me.

No one is ever going to read this.

I might as well give up.

These are some of the thoughts that went through my mind as I spent three years writing my first book Out of Control: Finding Hope in a Broken World. I wanted to give up many times during the process of writing and publishing. One of the reasons I invested in the publishing package with WestBow Press was because I knew it would help hold me accountable to finishing my goal of becoming a published author.

I believe the greatest obstacle writers face is themselves. We have to do battle with internal struggles that cause us to want to give up. The muse brings inspiration and is often a writer’s friend, but the muse can also whisper discouraging thoughts in our head at unfortunate times. Tackling the negative inner-dialogue is an important part of the publishing process.

Never Quit

Thomas Fuller said, “An invincible determination can Rodney Huntaccomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.” It takes a great deal of determination for a writer to go from the initial idea of a book, to the rough draft, to the final draft, through the editing process, and then finally to print. You have to persevere through the tough days and moments when you feel like giving up. Don’t quit.

I felt like giving up again and again, I ended up changing the title of my book three times. At one point, I almost started over completely. I felt like giving up when I went months without making much advancement due to my busy schedule. Somehow, I kept finding moments to write an hour here or there just to continue making progress. My mantra became, as someone once said: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

I felt like giving up after I sent my first draft in for publication. Looking over the proofs, I realized there were some significant grammatical problems that needed to be edited. I hired an editor to go over the work one more time from beginning to end. I persevered.

The Fruit of Perseverance

OutofControlMy first book was finally published after many hours, days, and years of hard work. There was something special about getting that first copy of the book in my hand, it was a reward in itself. An even greater reward was when someone purchased the book, read it, and left me my first five-star review. That was the reason I set out to write to begin with – to influence others.

This year, I am now in the process of marketing my book. I need to see this process through till the end. I currently have ten five-star reviews on Amazon, and I am working to ensure many others have the opportunity to find a way to hope in our broken world.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


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