Monday, August 25, 2008

Some Words of Wisdom

Here's some great advice to start your writing week from Jennifer Enderlin of St. Martin's (from the Spotlight at Nationals this year:

Nine Things An Author Can Control

1. Hone your craft.
- Write every day. Analyze the craft. Why does a particular book move you? What did that author do that you might do in your work? Always strive to improve. Don't fall in love with your research to the point that you show it off in your work. Learn to self-edit.

2. Don't follow trends.
- By the time you write a book to follow a trend, the market may be saturated or a new trend may arise.

3. Be emotional about your work, but not about the business.
- Emotion in a book is very important, but crying or whining to an editor is bad.

4. Don't compare yourself to other writers.

5. Make a team out of the people in your career.
- Build relationships. Send cards and say thank you to the people who help you.

6. Treat your writing like a professional.
- "Don't be a Tragedy Anne."

7. Find your own writer support group.
- Find other writers who understand you, who can be a mirror to show you how your work really looks. Surround yourself with positive people. (Hello, Romance Divas!)

8. Get rid of the 'us versus them' mentality.
- Your publisher wants you to be successful. When you look good, your editor looks good.

9. Attend to the care and feeding of readers.
- Answer email and be accessible to readers.


  1. Very cool list. In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins says that the leaders of the great companies work for the company. They're not in it for the self-they aren't obnoxiously brillinat people, they're humble with the goal of making the company succeed. That's the way my Dh runs his company, and that's the way I've been thinking is the right way to be a successful author. Dh says, "Let's make some money for the team." I think that's an excellent way to look at the team that gets a book out.

  2. concise is not a word I understand before the first cup of coffee.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. Seems like sound advice all the way around.

  4. Wonderful advice for a Monday. Thanks so much Kristen!

  5. Ooh, great advice! Now you're on my favorites . . .

  6. I think that list could work for just about all careers! Good advice!