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by Barbara Wood last modified Nov 10, 2017 06:30

I am frequently asked for advice on how to write.  And just as frequently, I get requests for inspiration.  So here are two for the price of one.

While I do not write non-fiction, I do nonetheless strive for accuracy, realism and truth in my writing, because people believe the printed word.  And so my advice pertains to both genres, fiction and non-fiction: be sure of your facts and be prepared to back them up.  Don’t do shoddy research.  Be meticulous.  Readers are placing faith in you.  

As for “inspirational” advice, one word: Perseverance.  If you desire to publish someday, get your ideas or stories out there, and then stick to it, write, get those words down, don’t let anything, or anyone, stand in your way.  Listen with an open mind to criticism and suggestions for rewrites.  Remember, editors are not adversaries, they are people who want the best possible writing you can offer, and very often an editor can see what you have overlooked.

Over the years, I have collected inspirational sayings.  I keep them in a book and I refer to them now and again, because we all need a pick-me-up at one time or another.  Here are a few of my favorites:

“Success comes from doing, not waiting.”  Actor Michael Caine.

“A Thoroughbred never looks at the other horses in the race, he just concentrates on running the fastest race he can.”  Actor Henry Fonda

“I have failed over and over in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”  Michael Jordan

A friend who is hoping to get published was worried about her writing.  She said, “My stories are not flashy or full of adventure, but take the form of intimate confessions. I'm worried that they will be too nostalgic and over descriptive as a result.”  My response is, don’t worry that your story will be too much of this or too little of that.  Write from the heart and worry about the tweaking later.  Sometimes intimate confessions are the best form of writing because the writer makes a more direct connection to the reader.  I was afraid that my novel VIRGINS OF PARADISE was too nostalgic and way too descriptive, but it went on to be a bestseller.

Believe in yourself and your work.  And start a collection of inspirational sayings – whether from actors or basketball players – they will help in your writing career.  You can quote me on that.



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