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Goodreads asked Michael J. Sullivan:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Michael J. Sullivan It’s a marathon not a sprint. Don’t think you will write a publishable novel in a year, or two, or three. It doesn’t take years, it takes decades. Writing novels isn’t a job. It isn’t a hobby. It’s an art and a craft, and it takes a very long time before you can hear the music that words sing.

Have a backbone, but don’t be arrogant. Listen to everyone, but always decide for yourself. Anyone has the potential to help you become a better writer by telling you something you didn’t know, but you’ll miss it if you think you know everything. But remember, you’ll never be a good writer if you listen to everyone except yourself. Just because someone tells you a good writer doesn’t do this, or is supposed to do that, doesn’t mean you should. No one’s opinion should ever outweigh your own.

Sometimes you just have to say, “You’re just not my audience.”

And of course…read and write. Read and write. Read and write, because no one can ever really teach you to be a good creative writer. Others can provide you with hints, tricks, observations and suggestions, but only you can teach yourself to be a good writer.

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