By Megan S. Johnston, Author
Join a writers group ~ You are not alone in your struggle to be heard. Discussing your work in a group can help you work through some of the creative problems you may have. By sharing your work with other writers and helping them critique their work, you will help not only yourself, but contribute to the group. This will also help you grow a tougher skin. Listen to what works for others in your group, what works for them may not necessarily work for you, but it’s good advice. There will always be readers who do not like your work, but there are many others who will.
Learn the rules ~ Remember the rule “show, don’t tell”? This is one of the most important rules by far. There are other rules you have to follow too, such as, brushing up on your grammar and punctuation. If you need help in this area, there are some free grammar helpers online.
Here are a few you can check out: http://www.grammarbase.com/free_grammar_corrector/
And a favorite of mine: http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2011/12/12/5-free-grammar-checkers-for-bloggers-and-writers/
Trust your readers ~ Your readers and critique partners will lead you in the direction of your own unique voice. When you feel the need to write a different way, do it. Being your own self is the best practice.
Experiment ~ Read different genres, everything from fiction to non-fiction to poetry. You could even try writing a memoir. You never know what will strike your fancy. Maybe you’re a poet, and didn’t know it! Some writers like short stories to large novels. Experiment with a few you like, you never know where it may take you.
Listen and take a chance ~ When you finish with your work, and your readers tell you it’s good, send it out. The only way you’ll be published is to take a chance. Do research and find publications that print work similar to yours. Send it to them. Keep sending.
Never give up ~ Giving up should never be part of your vocabulary. Weather you decide to self-publish or go with a literary agency, don’t let rejection stop you from doing what you love. Don’t worry if you receive rejection letters, some of the greatest authors out there were rejected prior to being published. Keep submitting your work.
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