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Be Passionate
If you don’t have the passion and drive for writing, don’t do it. If your only motivation to write is selling a book and making tons of money, then this probably isn’t the route for you. Also, if you have that passion and drive, then you won’t be afraid to let others see your work. Get plugged into a support group of writers for encouragement and critique purposes. From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be a writer, and I was never afraid to be honest about that love. Don’t write for trends. Write what you know, but don’t be afraid to push your boundaries a little. I never thought I’d be comfortable writing in first person or present tense, but I’ve done both. I never thought I’d go beyond Fantasy Genre – and now I’ve written zombies, vampires, aliens, Greek gods and goddesses, dystopian characters, urban fantasy etc. Write what you love!

Practice!
Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it does make better. I loved college because it forced me to write every day, and that routine helped me. Instead of writing every couple of days, I began to write every day, and the more I wrote, the better my work became. Don’t stop! Staple your butt to the chair and WRITE! Set a goal for yourself. I surprise myself and often write 2000 words a day when I only mean to write 1000. Don’t be afraid to let others see your work. Start with your family, friends, online beta readers, local writer’s critique groups…anyone who will listen. The more you do that, the more your writing will improve.

Prepare for Rejection:
I know, I know. It’s cliche, but trust me it happens. Let it slip off your shoulders and keep moving forward. As stated before, if your only goal is to become the next J.K. Rowling and you give up on writing when it doesn’t happen, then writing isn’t the path for you.

Social Media:
If your book is finished, put yourself out there. I cannot overstate the greatness of Twitter pitch contests. There are dozens of these every year, and they are wonderful opportunities to get your work noticed. If you haven’t had a professional editor critique your work, then look for the pitch contests where you win editorial services. Agents want clean, polished works. Editors are worth their weight in gold!

Read:
Read, read, read! I gain inspiration from music, movies, but I find that books bring me the most inspiration.

Explore:
Don’t lock yourself into one genre or one voice. Play around with them a little. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

Finally, don’t let your characters control you! I believe mine plot to kill me on a daily basis.

Happy Writing!