Goodreads asked Antony John:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Antony John I’m asked this a lot (as all authors are), and I’m interested that everyone has a slightly different answer beyond the “write a lot / read a lot” response. Here’s mine:


Yup, that’s pretty much it. Practice the craft of writing as you would a sport or musical instrument. If you aren’t committed to team practices, your sports coach will cut you. If you aren’t committed to practicing an instrument, you’ll never make it into a decent ensemble. And yet I hear lots of aspiring writers admit that they’re rarely able to write more than once a week.

Believe me, I get it: Friends and parents don’t look at writing as “work” or “practice.” In other words, most of us don’t get credit for it (at least until we’re published). Well, we need to educate them. Tell them what you want to do, and ask them to hold you accountable for getting it done. Better yet, recruit them to your “team”—the group that will offer encouragement, critiques, and chocolate while you plod along the (sometimes arduous) road to becoming a published author.

Most of all, OWN your aspiration. Yes, it might take you years to finish the first book, or to get a book published, but if you love writing, that’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. It just means more time hanging out with characters plucked from your imagination. And as I’ve discovered, my characters tend to listen to me far better than anyone else does!

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more