A long while ago, I asked a few of my fellow writers a few questions as follows: When you were a young writer, what advice do you wish you had received? What advice do you have for fellow writers who are either new at writing or have the same experience as you? If a writer gets the hated Writer’s Block, what do you suggest they do?
Caroline Laxon-Abbott replied: “Read widely, not just the genre you’re interested in. Subscribe to a writer’s magazine for a year. Keep writing. Visit your local library and check out how-to writing books (again outside the genre you wish to write in) plus it’s cheaper than buying the books (unless of course you constantly keep handing it back in overdue). Don’t just read the bits about how to write that book but how you’re going to get it published as well. Last of all, accept the fact we are still all learning the craft and no one person knows everything. ;-D”
Ralph E. Laitres replied: “I am not young, but I wish I had paid more attention in school… especially English…… as for writer’s block… walk away for a day and do not think about the writing… forcing it will make it worst. I got serious about writing in 2007 at the age of 46. but I have dabbled since my youth… now at age 50, I can say I am going to be an author… but I am a NEWBIE. I am here to learn from those who have already walked down this road.”
Gina Roeder replied: “I’ve always wanted to be a writer since I was in grade school but was discouraged from it because it wasn’t a practical way to make a living. So I guess to any inspiring writer I’d first offer my devoted encouragement. Next I’ll tell ’em to keep writing, every day, even on the days when they don’t feel like it because that’s what the pros do. A writing instructor once told me that a professional writer is like a prostitute, they do it even when they don’t want to. As for writer’s block, well, I’m experiencing that right now. I started working on something else just to keep writing. It usually helps. The key is to not get discouraged.”
Never stick to just one genre. Spread out, learn everything you can about the writing world, and share what you learn with your fellow writers. You’re never too old to start anything, especially not writing. Never, never let anyone or anything keep you from writing. If you want to write, write. Yes, at some point in time, you will get discouraged but do not let it be a long-lasting situation. It is your life and if you want to be an author, do it! There will be plenty of people to support you, even if your closest family and friends don’t. There is always someone who will spend the time and energy encouraging you. Much thanks to Caroline, Ralph, and Gina for allowing me to use their comments as examples to encourage other writers.
Copyright © Aris Lisvacor/J.E. Feldman, Caroline Laxon-Abbott, Ralph E. Laitres, Gina Roeder