Advice. All aspiring writers want it, hoping there’s some nugget of knowledge that holds the key to their success. Unfortunately no such advice exists. As you’ll read from the below bestselling and award-winning authors, writing is all about practice, dedication and reading widely. Sorry guys.
Bestselling author of P.S. I Love You and Love, Rosie.
“I’ve done many events where aspiring writers hang on to every word looking for the clue, the thing that will help them to finally do it, or unlock the mystery. There is no secret thing that authors know that you do not know. There is no secret way of writing, of trying to get published. You just sit down, get a pen and paper and write the story that’s in your mind and heart. Keep writing until you have finished. Stop talking about it, stop analysing it all so much that it comes apart and just do it. Be brave. Be yourself. Use your own voice and then you will immediately be unique because there is nobody like you.” Read the full interview.
“Find someone whose judgement you trust to read your work: no one does this all alone.” Read the full interview.
Maxine Beneba Clarke
Award-winning author of The Hate Race and The Patchwork Bike.
“Keep writing. And keep learning. And most of all, keep submitting and editing. If you want to make a career out of it, look at writing as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Passion is key, but restraint and pace are also crucial in the long-term, or you burn out. And read. For Christ’s sake, you have to read. Read as much as you can, and then re-read as much as you can, and then dissect what it is you love about the books you do read and love.” Read the full interview.
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Award-winning authors of The Illuminae Files.
Amie: “Read widely, outside the field you want to write in – that’s your inspiration, and you don’t want to cook with exactly the same ingredients as the authors you love. You want to add some touches that are all you. And just keep writing. Don’t worry if it’s bad. Our first drafts are bad. Just keep going. Finish. You’ll keep getting better.”
Jay: “And whatever you do, don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t, or shouldn’t. It doesn’t matter what they think, or what they say. It doesn’t matter what they believe. It only matters what you think, what you believe. Because if you believe you can do it, and you’re meant to be doing it, then you will. You can. And that’s all there is to it. No more, no less than that.” Read the full interview.
Author of the bestselling Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series.
“My advice to aspiring writers is to take an idea and nurture it to fruition rather than just put your first effort out there. It’s tempting to write something, then see if it sticks. But writing is like any discipline, and to become an expert, you need years to master it. I worked on Wimpy Kid for eight years before I was ready to share it with the world.” Read the full interview.
Sarah J. Maas
Author of the bestselling Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
“Read as much as you can, and never stop writing, no matter what people may tell you! You only truly fail when you quit.” Read the full interview.
About the Contributor
Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.