10 Rules for Aspiring Women Writers

Whether you write romance, poetry, steampunk, fantasy, literary fiction, horror, or how-to books, your work matters.
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1. If someone in your life is not supportive of your writing or the time you invest in your writing, stop discussing your writing with them. Continually seeking encouragement from someone who refuses to give it is counterproductive. Pour your energy and emotion into your writing. They may come around on their own. If they don't, that's their problem.

2. Learn to be selfish with your time. Men do it all the time. Examine how much of your day is spent making life easier for other people or doing what they want you to do. Learn to view this time as your own and spend it as your own.

3. Never feel ashamed of your genre. Your genre does not define you and every genre has value. Whether you write romance, poetry, steampunk, fantasy, literary fiction, horror, or how-to books, your work matters.

4. If someone tells you that you can't do something, stop talking to them. How on earth would anyone else know what you can or cannot do? Life is too short for that kind of negativity.

5. Never feel ashamed of time spent reading. Reading is imperative. Just because you enjoy it doesn't make it an indulgence. It is part of the job.

6. Praise and criticism come in unexpected places, so throw your expectations of both in the trash. Friends and relatives you thought would be supportive may not turn out that way. On the other hand, a casual acquaintance might emerge as your biggest supporter. Don't waste time trying to please certain people. Let them react how they will and thank those who do so positively.

7. Carve time when you can. Writers who write full-time did not start out that way. Whether it's early in the morning, late at night, or scribbling in your car in between running errands, steal bits of time to write.

8. Do unto other writers as you would have them do unto you. Writers are your family, not your competition. If a writer in your genre experiences success, be happy for them and for yourself. Good books make readers search for more good books.

9. Never dwell on what you have not done. You can always start now. Look to the future. Time will march on whether you write or not. In one year you will be one year older. You can be one year older having written the draft of a book, or not. The choice is yours. Make the decision and be excited about it.

10. There are no rules. If you read advice on writing (here or elsewhere) that doesn't work for you, ignore it. Find the system and the thinking that are conducive to your productivity. The rest of it doesn't matter.

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