Christmas is a time of gift giving. If you could gift aspiring authors with one piece of advice,
what would it be?
I always have a hard time with this because I want to say something witty and wise. But really for me, I think it's quite simple. I actually have two little tidbits for you. And I know writers hear this a lot (probably because it's true) ;)
Follow your gut - and - Don't give up
The first one I've learned over many years of writing and editing and getting critiques and revising and repeating the process over and over. I get a lot of good crits from my crit partners. They catch A LOT of mistakes, help me patch a lot of plot holes, brainstorm with me and really help make my manuscripts shine.
But sometimes I think you can have (to use an old cliche) too many cooks in the kitchen. I remember one instance where I got a crit back, I revised incorporating the suggestions I'd received, sent that out to a new person for another crit only to get suggestions that advised changing what I'd just changed back to what I had before.
At some point, you just have to listen to your gut. YOU are the author. It is your book, your creation, your story. You know what's best for it. Now, if everyone is telling you there is a problem, you might want to listen :) But always follow your gut. It's usually right.
For the other - well, it's self-explanatory :) Don't give up. Yes, being an author is hard. If it wasn't, everyone would do it. Many people say they want to write a book. Some even do. Fewer write one and rewrite it and polish it and revise it again and make that baby actually publishable. Fewer still actually get the book published (though there are so many wonderful options out there for authors now that are enabling more books to hit those physical and virtual shelves).
If writing is what you want to do, don't let anything stop you. If being published is what you want, keep at it. Don't ever give up :)
I hope everyone has a very very happy holiday! Don't forget, I'm over at Kate Evangelista's today giving away a copy of To Trust a Thief!! Head over and enter!
Also be sure to stop by Alyson's blog tomorrow and head to Lisa's blog to see her advice. To follow the chain from the beginning, head over to Kate's :)