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How To Succeed As A Writer

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Remember when you wrote your very first story for someone else to read?

Somebody asked you, “May I read that?”

And you felt terrified. Would they hate it? Because if they did, your life was over.


Because you had put your life into that story. If they loathed it, they loathed you.

Flash forward a few years. You’re about to read your story to a writing group. You want their comments, but feel the same mortal terror. ‘Please go easy on my story. It’s my soul.’

Here’s an alarming truth: the fear never goes away.

I know because, for the past five years, I’ve been a coach to more than 6000 writing students. Either they enter their short stories in my fiction contest at Writers’ Village, or they join my course and follow a structured mentoring program and get my feedback on their assignments or work in progress.

And everybody tells me, in effect, ‘Please go easy on this passage. It’s not just an exercise. It’s me.’

Now for the good news. The fear is something you’ll learn to welcome. It grows your success as a story writer. Because it shows you how to write. Overcome the fear, and every rejection will teach you something valuable and new.

You also discover that while it’s fun to write a story that you love but nobody else will read,  it’s sheer joy when somebody else reads it and they love it too. Because they’ve essentially said, “I love you.”

I love you.

It’s the feedback every author craves – even when they’ve become a household name.

Why else does J. K. Rowling continue to write when, having built the Harry Potter franchise to around $15 billion, she can afford to retire to her own island, equipped with yacht and helipad?

Last year, she braved the critics to put out her first adult crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling. She published it under a pseudonym.

Did she need the money? Of course not. She wanted validation for her craft skills, and for herself.

Had the success of Harry Potter been a fluke, she wondered? If so, she wanted to know! And no, it wasn’t a fluke. The Cuckoo’s Calling gained good reviews even under the pseudonym.

An author builds a world for the reader to live in. Then the reader builds a world for theauthor to live in.

That’s why, as serious writers, we write. (The money be darned.) But how can we build a world that many readers will love, while steeling ourselves against the pain of rejection?

Here’s how to succeed as a writer…  continue reading this article by John Yeoman here:  http://writetodone.com/succeed-writer/