Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is doing well this holiday season, no mater what you celebrate. It's time for a holiday edition of the blog chain.

Cole posed the question:

Christmas is a time of gift giving. If you could gift aspiring authors with one piece of advice, 
what would it be?

Now, I am an excellent re-gifter. My birthday is a month before Christmas, so I can easily unload the robe my mother-in-law gives me every year on the old lady I get stuck with for the office secret santa.

There's lots of writing advice I've received over the years that I can regift now. A lot of it is cliched but true. Here's the 3 things I tend to come back to:

Butt in Chair
I like this one, simple and straight to the point. All that dreaming, hoping, and researching about your writing career means diddly-squat if you don't put in the time to just sit down, shit up, and write.

Work on the next book
I've been told this is as true if you're querying your first novel or have several published books under your belt. There's a lot of waiting in this game and the best way to fill this time is to start the next project. I know. Sometimes it seems the best way is to stalk editors on twitter, but really just start s new book.

What? I know what you're thinking, that's horrible advice! But really, one of the best things I've been told as an aspiring author is: Quit. If you can stop writing, then you should stop. If you can give up your pursuit of publication, then you should give up. Because this industry will chew up your heart and spit it back out. But if you can't quit, if you need to do this, then do it.

These days, I'm not getting a whole lot of writing done. I have a two-month-old baby and if I can take a shower and make it to the grocery store, then that's a big accomplishment for the day. So I'll re-gift the advice I've been giving myself lately. Set small, measurable, manageable goals. Writing a novel and/or pursuing publication is a HUGE task. It's easy to be discouraged and feel overwhelmed. But if you take it one bite at a time, or bird by bird, you can do it.

Hope y'all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Check out Michelle's post from yesterday and Cole's post tomorrow.