Goodreads asked Heather Hayden:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Heather Hayden First of all, please stop calling yourself an "aspiring" writer. If you write, you're a writer. There's not "aspiring" about it.

Second, if you want to write well, don't just study books on writing. Read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Good, bad, in between--you'll learn what to do and what not to do.

Third, learn the rules of writing before you start to bend and break them. But once you've learned them, don't be afraid to twist them to your will.

Fourth, don't become discouraged. There are days when I sit down to write and the words won't come, or when I read a first draft and despair at ever making it decent. Those are the days when it might be good to set the work aside for a bit...or it might be good to press forward and ignore your inner doubt. Everyone has their own method through breaking "writer's block". Mine varies--yours may too.

Last of all, write. Write every day, or every other day, or when inspiration strikes you and the words press your fingers to the keys or the pen and won't let go until you're breathless and the words are jumbled upon the paper. Because you are a writer, and that is what we do.

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