• Debi Chestnut

5 Things I've Learned About Being A Writer

Write a book they said. It will be fun they said. When one of my friends said this to me I thought they were right, and they were right in part. It was fun. It was also many other things. However, those words started me on my journey into my writing life.

Along the way I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them. Here are the top 5 things I've learned about being a writer.

  1. DON'T GIVE UP: One day I saw a post on a social media page. It said: A professional writer is a writer who doesn't quit. I wrote those words down and put them on the wall in my writing space so I would see them everyday.

Follow your dream. If you want to be a writer - then keep writing! Keep submitting!

Don't let rejections rule your life. Steven King's book 'Carrie' was rejected 30 times

before it was published and look where he is now! You can do this!

2. GET AN EDITOR: I cannot stress this enough. I found a fantastic writing

coach/mentor named James Parsons. He lives in Australia. His advice, and

'suggestions' as he likes to call them, have been invaluable.

Keep in mind many writing coaches charge a lot of money. James' prices are

easily affordable and worth every penny. Find a coach/editor who doesn't tear

you down as a writer- that accomplishes nothing. If you don't want a writing coach

that's fine, but at the very least, have your work professionally edited before you

submit it to a publisher.

3. FIND SOURCES: Since I write mysteries, I often need to know specific things

about police procedure, death, murder, and everything associated with it.

Among my favorite sources are my local firemen - especially helpful if there's an

arson in your book. Policemen - I'm notorious for walking up to one of our local

sheriffs when they are eating at a restaurant and asking for advice and answers

to questions.

Other sources I use are doctors, attorneys, medical examiners, etc. A lot of time

you can't find exactly what you want online and you have to go directly to someone

who works in the field and ask questions. Most of them are happy to help!

4. FIND OTHER WRITERS: I live in a very rural area. Writers are few and far

between. However, not too far away from me is a writer's group that meets

once a month. I try to go to the meeting every month. I also joined some

writer's groups on social media.

No one can understand the struggles you may be facing while writing

a book and trying to get it published more than other writers. They are a


5. AGENT OR NO AGENT: Do I need an agent? This is a question I've asked

myself a thousand times. I've managed to traditionally publish all my books

without an agent. Yes, it was hard work, but it was worth it.

Having an agent is not a bad thing, there are many advantages to having an

agent. It's a personal choice and one you will have to decide for yourself.

If you do want to hire an agent, do your research and find one that not only

represents what genre you write in, but sounds like they are a good fit for you.

So, that's it. Those are the top 5 things I've learned as a writer. Please leave a comment and tell me what you have learned as a writer, or ask a question.

Until next time - write on!


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