Many new writers ask for my advice for someone who has writing ability. But, they may but stuck in fear or don’t believe they can go the distance with a full-length manuscript? Here is the best writing advice I’ve ever received?

First-time authors may be overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting information that’s going to be flying at them. Try to tune the noise out and write. Write the story you need to tell with your own style and voice, not the one you think agents, publishers, and readers want.

Find the time to write on a schedule every day if you can and write until you draft the story you have always envisioned. Don’t try to force anything. If you experience what it popularly known as writer’s block, there are two things you might do. First, stop for a few minutes and listen to music, or if you are a musician, play a song or two. Second and I love this one, my friend Caleb Pirtle reminds us, “If you are experiencing writer’s block, you may be asking your characters to do something they don’t want to do.”

When your draft is finished, proof it, edit it, stylize it, clarify your “voice” or whatever you need to do until you’re satisfied with the result. Then hire a professional editor. An editor will raise your work to the next level. You will hate her, disagree with her, and argue with her, but listen to your editor and make the suggested changes. In the end, your book will be much better for it.

During the writing process, join social media and make friends, not necessarily followers. Ask questions on your social networks and I guarantee other authors will answer from personal viewpoints of experience, knowledge, and strength. Avoid most of the Googled ‘how to’ articles which ask your same questions but never seen to get to the ‘how to’ part.

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Advice When Starting Out 

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