Keep Learning


Quite often I’m approached at public appearances, and via e-mail, by other authors who are trying to get their first work published. It’s hard to do for most of us. One thing I kept being told, over and over and over, before having my first publishing credit, was that getting that first piece of work published is the hardest thing an author will ever do. Thus far, I’d have to agree wholeheartedly with that! I like being in a position to help others. So, think of this post as free advice to up-and-coming authors who are struggling to get that first publication credit under your proverbial belt.

Different people will tell you different things. Most of those people will tell you that their way is the only way of doing things. To that I say a resounding “Bologna!” Everyone has different things that work for them. What works for one is the polar opposite of what the next person may need. Listen to what others say. Maybe give it a try if it sounds good to you. But if it doesn’t work, leave it, and find something that does. Writing styles and work methods are as individual as fingerprints. Go with what works for you.

There are only three pieces of advice that I would say cannot be ignored by any author. Those are:

1) Never give up. This is a tough business. If you give up easily, you’ll never make it as a writer.

2) Get your name out there. If people don’t know about your work, they aren’t going to be able to buy it. Make people aware of your work, but do so in a manner that doesn’t smash them over the head with it, and make them not want to hear your name.

3) Keep learning. Life in general is a learning process. The life of a writer is, arguably, even more so. Writers write. We communicate ideas and knowledge. To do that, and to keep up, we have to keep learning. The more you learn, the more you know. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to hone your craft. The better you’re able to write, the more likely it is that people will want to buy your work, and enjoy reading it.

Scott Harper

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