Today, I am excited to welcome MaryLu Tyndall to the farm. MaryLu has offered to share her ten scribbles of advice for writers.
Ten things I wish I’d known before I got published
1. Learn all the writing rules.
Take courses online. Read great books on writing. And then when you sit down to write, forget them all! Honestly, you can get so tied up with POV and showing not telling and correct grammar and using action verbs, etc… that it can completely stifle your creativity. When I wrote my very first novel, I didn’t know any of the rules and it not only got published, it was nominated for a Christy Award.
2. Enter contests for feedback not to win.
If you enter thinking your manuscript is the best thing since sliced bread and you’re sure to win the praise of every judge and editor who sees it, you’re probably going to be disappointed. But if you enter in anticipation of receiving critical feedback you can use to improve your writing, you’ll be excited to see those low scores when they arrive! Otherwise, you’ll become depressed and consider throwing in the towel. Take it from someone who nearly did just that. And, by the way, my low scores were on a manuscript that eventually got published!
3. Do not worship the god of public opinion.
He is a fickle and unreliable. Some people will love your manuscript. Some people will hate it. When you get published, it gets far worse, believe me. There’s only One opinion that matters.
4. Join a critique group with the intent to help others more than you get helped.
If you get some good critiques out of it, great! But if not, be a blessing to others. It’s better to give than to receive. This attitude will help you so much throughout your writing career.
5. Pray without ceasing.
Pray before you write, during your writing and thank God after you’re done. Include God in your decisions about characters and plot. And don’t forget to give Him the glory.
6. Write the story burning on your heart.
Don’t write to please the market. When I wrote my first book I was told historical romance was not selling and nobody would buy my story. Now, 8 years later and 11 books published, historical romances are selling like hot cakes!
7. Shut out all the voices
telling you that you have to do this or you have to do that if you want to get published, and only listen to the ONE voice that matters. When I got my first contract, I didn’t have a website, blog, platform, and I wasn’t on Facebook. I hadn’t done any of the things you were supposed to do. Go figure.
8. Get off the internet and write a GREAT book!
Too many authors spend far too much time socializing online, hoping to gain new followers, instead of spending the time and focus required to write the best book they can.
9. Enjoy writing!
If you are truly a writer then you love to write. Enjoy it! If your only goal is publication, you might be disappointed and you’ll spend years in frustration and won’t enjoy the process. God has given you this talent for your good and His glory. Don’t waste it moping around just because things haven’t turned out like you hoped.
10. God’s timing is perfect.
I know you’ve heard this before, but if you can really grasp this, it will bring you such peace. I had been writing my entire life, gave it up several times, and eventually got a degree in Math and worked at IBM for 15 years. But one day in 2001, when I hadn’t written anything in years, God told me to write a story about a Christian Pirate. I thought I was hearing things. But I obeyed. Three months after I completed it, I had an agent. Three months after that, I had a contract. It happened so fast, my head was spinning. When God says “It’s time”, you better watch out!
MaryLu Tyndall writes Swashbuckling Romances Anchored in Faith. Each of her stories have a sea flair and all of them have an experience where God meets the individual in a very dynamic way. If you have not yet had the opportunity to read her books, I would like to encourage you to try one.
Think Christmas wishlist!
Also, MaryLu is new to Twitter, would you stop by and give her a warm welcome?