In the latest issue of Singularity, I did an interview with Iain Broome, an eminently practical fiction writer and copywriter. Iain’s novel A is for Angelica is represented by Tibor Jones & Associates, and he also talked about the Post-it system he used while writing the novel. Here’s a question I asked: If you can only give one piece of advice to first time authors, what will it be?
Gosh, just one? That’s tough. I know that many writers when asked this question say… write. But I’ve always thought that to be a bit of a kop out, so I’ll go for something else.
I think it’s important that writers know why they’re writing and manage their expectations. Us scribblers can occasionally struggle with a lack of self-awareness, I’m afraid. Sometimes we think our work is brilliant, and it’s really not. And sometimes we think that what we’ve written is useless, when actually it’s worth pursuing further. Either way, it’s always important to get good quality, trusted advice from peers.
It’s also important to find that difficult balance between having confidence in your work and not expecting instant success. I’ve written before in various places that I try and think about my writing on the following terms: Reach for the stars. Expect nothing. It’s important to believe that you can, for instance, get a novel published if you work hard and are willing to listen and improve. But it’s also vital that you don’t get ahead of yourself and expect it to happen. Like I say, it’s about managing expectations.
What do you think? Who else do you want me to interview?