Excited to welcome Michelle Lazurek to my blog for part two of my series on how to become a successful author. Read her five pieces of advice below and check out her new release here: http://www.amazon.com/
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Five Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers
A lot of people ask me, “I am an aspiring author and want to write a book. What advice would you give me about how to go about it?” Although I’m still learning about this process, I can say I have learned a lot in the seven years I have been a writer. Here are five of my best tips to becoming an author:
1) Writing is a calling, not a hobby- I say this because a hobby is what you do in your spare time. Often people think they can scribble to some quick words, click the publish button and they will magically become an author. In some ways, that is true. But I have also learned that the thing that separates authors and writers is calling. Writers jot down words on a page, but don’t always want to do the hard work of editing, marketing and publishing their books. An author is the one who toughs it out, no matter how much time, money and resources they need. The calling is what gets an author out of bed and at the computer. Writers stare at a blank page after a year; authors hold their shiny books in their hands.
2) Platform is king- No matter what anyone tells you, it is simply not enough to have a great idea or even be a good writer. Both of these help, but it’s not what puts your proposal into the hands of a publishing board. The clincher is and always will be if you can sell the books you write. The bigger your outlets for getting out your message, the better. However, after seven years, this still remains an enigma to me. There is no magic formula to becoming an author large enough to become published. But hard work and hustle do help. Speaking engagements, guest posting on largely known sites and driving traffic to your blog all expand your platform, helping you to build it plank by plank.
3) Read. Write. Repeat- If you don’t read, you’ll never hone your craft. Who are some of the most memorable writers you know? What makes them good writers? The only way you’ll know that is if you read their work. Reading about the mechanics and process of writing also help you develop your skills.
4) Utilize those around you- in the words of the Beatles, we get by with a little help from our friends. Critique groups, editors and mentors all help you develop your skills effectively. Find people in your area (either in person or online) and meet regularly to discuss writing. Give them your word and solicit feedback. Isolation never helped anyone; constructive criticism from a trusted group of friends does.
5) The book is the marathon; the blog is the sprint- One of the first pieces of advice I give to anyone is to start a blog. Wordpress and blogger both have free hosting sites to help you get started. Pick a topic and write everything you can on it. I mean everything. Write until you know nothing else about it. Establish yourself as an expert. Then branch out into other areas of writing interest. You’ll spread yourself too thin if you write about a bunch of random topics. Pick a topic you know well and tell the world about it. When you finish, post your work to social media. Get the word out about who you are. Slowly, you’ll build an audience that no matter how big your platform, will always gather to hear your message.
Michelle Lazurek is an author, speaker, pastor’s wife and mother and loves to help people reach their potential. She has been published over one hundred times for places such as Christianity today’s Gifted For Leadership, incourage.me, and Charisma Magazine. She teaches at writers’ conferences and mentors new writers. Please visit my website ww.w.michellelazurek.com