As a writer, I always appreciate advice from other authors. But when I’m asked for my own writing tips, I glance over my shoulder, because surely there’s a famous author standing behind me. Linda has graciously invited me to share some of my wisdom gleaned over the years (I was first published 12 years ago), so, here I go.
Surround yourself with people better than you.
This is how you’ll improve. And you can always improve.
Friends make the world a sweeter place. Friends can give you endless ideas about how to move forward in your career. And, finally, to get support, you must give support. Read your friend’s books. You’ll learn much.
Follow your creative impulses—they’ll always be right and true. But be more business-like and discerning during the editing process and the subsequent marketing of a book. Don’t crumble at the first sign of criticism.
Learn the craft.
This will be an ongoing process that never ends. You’ll make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
The 80% Rule
If a story is 80% good enough, I send it off to the editor. With good editing, I strive to bring it up to 95%. It’s impossible to reach perfection, so stop tweaking and release your creation to the world.
As an author, as a writer, and as a person. You are your writing. At the same time, your job is to be as invisible as possible within the work itself. Dig into your characters and plot. Embrace research.
Follow your own path.
Your journey won’t look like anyone else’s, so don’t compare yourself to another author.
If playing with words and stories wasn’t buried deep in your bones, you wouldn’t be doing it in the first place. There are no limitations, really, so don’t place any on yourself.
Be humble. Be curious. Be grateful.
Kristy McCaffrey writes historical western romances. Visit her: