Goodreads asked Anne Eliot:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Anne Eliot I wish I'd had this advice when I was much younger. Go to writer's conferences in your area. Go to one every year. Big or small, every class you take trying to learn the craft of writing will be helpful and inspire you to type pages. Join big writers groups like Romance Writer's of America (if you do romance) and attend the amazing craft classes they have at the national conferences. Writers are amazing teachers and mentors and they love to teach story, writing tips, craft, time management and even how to do your taxes at these events.

Keep faith. Keep your eye on your dreams and set real goals. Even if you make no money be proud of yourself and the time you give the writing. The most humbling and amazing talk I ever gave was when my daughter asked me to go to her fifth grade class and talk about being a writer. Only, I wasn't published at the time. I'd worked for 5 full years with only rejection letters, bills and shame that no one wanted my stories piling up on my desk!

I couldn't say no to my own kid who had so much faith in me, so even though I did not want to go, I went. I spoke after the doctor and the attorney. I told all of the parents and kids that I was unpublished, but that I was a writer. That was the first time I'd said it out loud with conviction to anyone. I read them a few pages, and the girls all said: 'I can't wait to read that book.' That year, my same daughter made me an apron where she took a Sharpie marker and wrote BESTSELLING AUTHOR on it, and her eyes still shined bright for me, even after so many more rejections had come in. A year later I published Almost (my romance book about the girl who has PTSD) and it became a #11 Reader's Choice book, and a top 100 book of 2012/2013 for Amazon Kindle! My second book, Unmaking Hunter Kennedy also was a teen top 100 bestseller. That beautiful apron is on the wall of my office to remind me to keep sight of my dreams.

Study the craft of story writing every time you watch a movie. Be totally okay with writing hundreds of pages and then be totally okay with deleting them and/or starting over, knowing the words you've written aren't wasted, they will make your characters stronger. Be patient. Revise and re-work until your heart and soul knows 'this is the best work I can do'. Don't publish or submit the book to an agent or editor one second before that feeling is inside of you. Don't just put it live because you're tired or bored and want to move along. Set it aside, wait a bit. You will know when it's ready. Read The Writer's Journey, by Vogler, study Joseph Campbell and story structures. Read Stephen King's book: On Writing. Know, and be in love with and proud of your genre. Learn all the rules, then learn how and why and get confidence though your knowledge so you can break some of those same rules.

Oh, and gentle, kind, and generous to other writers and the work that they create. They are you. Their hearts are doubly exposed because they chose this work. They hurt and feel and see more than most people can because of the type of heart they have been born with. If they didn't, they wouldn't be writers like you are. Right? #love

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