Goodreads asked Bob Whitely:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Bob Whitely Stop reading so many books on how to write and get out there and write your heart out! Sure, read a book or three on how to write if you feel it will help (there are some really good ones out there), but nothing beats reading a ton of books in the genres you want to write in, and practice like mad the actual craft of writing.

When writing, especially novels, but even shorter works, an outline is essential. If you think you can write a novel without an outline, that usually means you're just going to be doing a lot more rewrites than the rest of us who keep organized, or your book's going to be a mess.

Do you feel an outline is stifling your creativity? Contact me and let's talk. I'm pretty sure I can change your mind. The advantages far, far outweigh any disadvantages. When writing based on your outline, remember that it's not the law, just a guide, and you can change the outline. It's only stifling if you do it wrong. But if you just can't do it, it's not the end of the world.

Don't be so quick to put your book on the market. Get it professionally edited and proofread, regardless of the cost. If you believe you've got a great book on your hands, then the money you pay a pro editor is well worth it. If you think you can put out a great book without pro editing you're almost certainly wrong, and the readers will know it, and it will hurt future sales.

Writing the book is the easy part, building an audience, promoting, marketing and actually selling books is the hard part. Passion isn't enough. You have to roll up your sleeves, do your homework, and make a realistic battle plan. Don't give up if you believe you're on the right path. While you're at it, don't sacrifice the important things in life, or you'll regret it later. I'm a very driven person, but I'm not about to neglect family, sacrifice what's really important in life just to sell more books. Live a balanced life. Every day's a gift. Make 'em count!

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