Friday, November 5, 2010

Guest Blogger - Dorothy Howell


If you’re not published you want to get published. If you’re already published, you want to keep getting published. That’s what being a writer is all about.

It’s especially difficult these days with disappearing bookstores, shrinking marketing budgets, and downsizing publishing houses. Writers feel the pressure to work harder than ever, produced more than ever. It’s enough to drive a writer absolutely crazy.

Here are five things you can do to hold on to your sanity.

Keep it moving

Don’t dwell on one manuscript to the exclusion of all else. If you’ve received a number of rejections, maybe it’s time to stop revising and move on to another project.

Keep at it

If you really want to be a published writer, it means you have to write. There’s no substitute for hard work. You’re going to have to set priorities – and stick with them.

Finish what you started

It’s easy to lose yourself in your first three chapters. You want them to be perfect, leaving you with the tendency to go over them time and time again until they shine. But the truth is you’re not going to reach “the end” like that. Keep moving forward. Finish the book. By the time you reach the end, you’ll be better prepared to have another go at the first few chapters.

Don’t ignore feedback

If you’re getting rejection letters that all say the same thing, you should take them seriously. Agents and editors really know what they’re talking about. They know good writing and, more importantly, they know what’s selling today. Listen to what’s being said. Consider making the suggested changes. In the end you might decide they’re not for you, but don’t simply dismiss them.

Get out more often

Even the most highly successful writer needs a change of scenery from time to time. When you’re on deadline, or simply obsessed with the manuscript you’re working on, it’s easy to become a captive in your own home. Getting out, seeing something new, or visiting with friends can stimulate your imagination and creativity.


Dorothy Howell

Fan Dorothy Howell Novels at

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the good advice. I'm one who gets caught in a loop...not so much in writing but in re-writing. I'll get X chapters into editing and re-writes and find something that makes me go, "Hmmm, that's not good. I wonder if I've done that before and not realized it. Back to page one." Very hard habit to break.


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