I have said before (and I’ll say again) that the best advice I can give to writers is simple: this business isn’t for wusses.
But today I’d like to amend that slightly and offer some new advice to aspiring writers: don’t be lazy.
Is this cruel, cruel advice? Yes. But believe me I wouldn’t be opening myself up for the onslaught of angry comments that might commence if I didn’t think it were true.
No one is going to help you decide which of your ideas you should write about.
No one is going to write the book for you.
No one is going to re-write the book for you.
Instead, you have to learn how to do these things for yourself.
You do this simply by writing and rewriting and reading and researching and becoming a student of the craft and by–wait for it–not being lazy and expecting someone to give you a trick that will make it all easier. It isn’t easy. None of it. (That’s why rule #1 is that this business isn’t for wusses.)
YOU have to do it. Yourself.
And to take this one step further…
No one is going to tell you how to find you an agent.
No one is going to get you an agent.
So how can you possibly know how to find an agent?
Well, for starters I just Googled the phrase “How to find a literary agent” and got 12,000 responses.
So, yeah, I think that information exists and with a little effort people who are serious about the business should be able to track it down. Heck, almost every published writer I know has a section on their website or blog that deals with that very issue. Come to think of it, I have a section on this website that deals with that very issue.
There are some amazing websites for writers out there (and, yes, I have linked to them on this blog and on my site on many, many occasions–if you look, you’ll find them).
There are some amazing organizations, too, like SCBWI (and, on the theme of not being lazy, I’m not going to explain what it is–I’m going to give you homework and make you go look it up).
I’ve said before that I knew nothing about publishing when I started. I knew no one. I simply went to the bookstore and bought the first screenwriting book I found (because, at first, I wanted to be a screenwriter). And then after that I started searching online for screenwriting and found some great websites. And then I made the decision to start writing novels and…you guessed it…I started researching novel writing.
You have to LEARN publishing (both the craft and the business aspects) like you learn math or science or Spanish.
Don’t worry, it’s possible. I know because that’s how I did it. You can do it, too.
In fact, if you’re serious about being a writer you will do it.
Because, after all, this business isn’t for wusses.