Best writing advice? Two words.

 

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Folks ask me all the time. What’s the best way to get my book published? My response is that there are plenty of ways to get your book published these days and plenty of people to help you do that.  At the moment there are 1400 books about the subject on Amazon. You don’t need me to help you with the act of publishing.

Many people also want to know the nuts and bolts of how to write a book. You don’t need my help with that either. A search of “how to write a book” on Amazon, will net you over 25,000 results! I’ve heard bushels of advice in my day. I’ve tried plenty of ways to organize and plot, nifty new techniques for creating characters and spiffy checklists for romance writing. Oodles of people are peddling their “fool proof methods” for writing that great American novel, believe me.  Look around. You’ll find the one that works for you.

The question to ask isn’t how to get a book published, or what techniques to use to write one. The most meaningful question for those who really want to pursue writing professionally is, “What’s the best way to approach the business of writing?” The best writing advice I ever got had nothing to do with any of the above. It was some sage wisdom from my agent, Chip MacGregor. He said, “Be generous.” What? That’s it? That’s the best way to be a professional writer? I believe it is.

Be generous with your books. Give them away to people who need them, not just the people who can help you market and publicize.

Be generous with your talent, especially when it comes to encouraging other writers, and helping out a noble cause.

Be generous with your praise, about other books that you loved and authors/bloggers whom you admire.

Be generous. It will bless others and, without a doubt, it will bless you, too.

Who has been generous with their time and talent in your life? Let’s hear all about it! Giving away a Starbuck’s card and signed book this month. 

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shanda on January 28, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Lovely post.

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  2. The one whose generosity changed my life was my publisher. She took me by the hand and showed me what a published author needed to do to get her book before the public.
    She took a big chance on a newbie–what an act of kindness!

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  3. Posted by Suzan Michet on January 26, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I think the phrase “Be Generous” could apply in a lot of areas of our lives …

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  4. I am always complimented on my ability to create things-watercolors, quilts, flower arrangements. I have always been very artistic. I do appreciate when people tell me “you did good”
    I have always complimented people of their achievements.

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  5. I’d have to say that the friends I worship with are so very generous with their time and talents. When I lost my grandmother in December they were there for me in so many numerous ways, more than I can recount. They’re always encouraging and I appreciate their love and generosity.
    I’ve found some writers to be very generous (like yourself Dana!!), and this quality attracts me to their books. It’s not because I get free stuff sometimes, but because I’m drawn to their generous spirit, which tells me a little something about who they are on the inside.

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  6. Last year I entered ABNA, and the people on the pitch thread forum were amazingly generous about helping one another with crafting their pitches. Remember, these were their competition, and yet they tactfully pointed out confusing points and awkward phrases until the pitches were ready. I think writers, in general, are generous people.

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