The best (and/or worst!) writing advice I ever got was…
When you’re new to writing and joining critique groups to improve your craft, the advice flows like milk and honey. For any parents out there, it’s a lot like when you have a new baby and experienced parents can’t wait to share their wisdom. The hard part in either case is knowing what works and what doesn’t.
The best piece(s) of advice I received when I was starting out were: Read in your genre, and don’t quit. Both of those things are hard, believe it or not. I was an avid reader of YA before I started writing, but stopped for fear of accidentally “stealing” another author’s work. That really isn’t the case—in order to write well in your chosen genre, you need to know the conventions. Learning how to break them comes much later. Reading authors you admire is motivating, too. As for not quitting? If the words burn inside of you, write. Publishing is a fickle business. If being published is your dream, first, you must write. If telling stories is what you love, write. Keep going, surround yourself with people who tell you that you can, and let those words out.
The worst piece of advice I think every new writer hears is “if you don’t write every day, you might as well quit now!” Rubbish. I had the flu in March. I was on deadline, but there was no way I could write in that state. Sometimes I don’t write because I’m doing something for my kids and there isn’t time in the day. Sometimes, I give myself a break, because, knowing me, I’ll burn out if I don’t. And there’s a difference between spending ten hours at your keyboard, and thinking about characters, plot points, and world building on your way to work. That counts. If you’re thinking about your book, you’re working on it. Writing isn’t always about butt in chair. The truth is, life happens. Don’t beat yourself up over a piece of advice that works for some, but doesn’t work for you.
Those are the pieces of advice I think about most—what about you?
About the author:
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.
The Perfectly Imperfect Match (Suttonville Sentinels #3)
by Kendra C. Highley
Publication Date: July 10, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict “no girls” policy, so be it.
Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.
Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…
Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.
Other books in the series: