What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
René Friedrich Don't aspire. Write. If by "aspiring writers" you mean "people who would like to be writers" and by writers you mean writing texts long enough to qualify as blog or book, because one could stretch the definition of writer quite a bit. Art writer could be anything! If aspiring is meant in the sense of ambitious - not just writing, but writing well and also selling - then the answer changes. For aspiring in the sense "I want to write," my proposal, not advice, would be to read books on writing well, and these days you also have video tutorials, podcasts, self-help groups, forums, all that! Most people learn writing in school, and it is something we learn, not something we are born with. There is talent, but there is also more than most people learn in school. And learning on your own is still more fun, because you can select the teachers you like! Eventually, schools will be like that. For example, I love the perspective in the book "Stein on Writing," where he argues that the best reading experiences defy interruption. You could say it's a usability perspective. For many writers, before you start, the actual question is rather: Should I start at all? Here I'd say: Just about the only people who think we need more text are the writers! And maybe, just maybe, some publishers! After I had started to write what would become my first book, I couldn't help mentioning it during small talk with an old bookstore owner in Paris. Her opinion: We have way too many books already! With a sweeping gesture waving about the stacks of books in a tiny store filled to the brim! Not exactly the type of reaction you seek as an aspiring writer! But I took it in good spirit: It seemed to me she was just tired of her work, and not exactly a book lover either, and possibly for that very reason not selling many books. Tell people who LOVE books and their eyes will light up: A new book? What is it? Then, depending on your answer ... Learning to pitch books still often comes at the end of writing, whereas professional writers often pitch the book first, and change the pitch until the demand to read this future book becomes overwhelming. Then they start writing. Crowdfunding can be similar. But writing means a large majority of the world population, probably, will not care about your book. You will want to find those who do.