Eric Smith’s debut novel Inked, just came out, and he’s here today with a guest post as part of his blog tour. Please give him a warm welcome, and also enter to win a ecopy of Inked (International) while you’re at it!
The Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Gotten From Other Writers
by Eric Smith
Writing isn’t a solitary experience. If you’re on social media and have gchat, guess what, you’re never alone. There are readers and authors out there for you to chat with whenever you want, you just have to be willing to reach out and make a connection.
That’s easily one of my favorite things about the literary community, the willingness to connect and communicate. The bookernet is a supportive place, and man, am I ever grateful for that. It’s there that I’ve connected with many of the writers who have given me valuable advice, many while I was writing and editing INKED.
Here are some of those tidbits that I’ve learned, that’ll hopefully help you with your future writings.
“Be generous.” – Robin Black: I talk about Robin a lot when discussing my writing and book life, whether I’m rambling about an essay or novel I’m fussing over, or talking about my career in publishing. She was a big driving force in my life back in graduate school as my professor, and I’m rather thrilled to call her a colleague and friend these days.
One of the best pieces of advice Robin’s ever dished out, has to do with being generous. I’m not just talking about financially (though if you can donate to a great literary cause, please do!), but personally and professionally. Take the time to talk to other writers, dish out advice and tips. Support your peers and their endeavors, promote them when you can. If you have a network or a voice that can bolster someone else’s art, do it.
There are more and more books coming out each year, more debuts and new writers. Remember that you were there once. Return the favor, be generous.
“Remember to treat your inner writer.” – Susanna Rich: My undergrad professor at Kean University used to talk about this all the time, my senior year of college. She’d catch me holed up in the campus library, fussing over this or that, and would press this issue.
Sitting down and attacking the page is great, but don’t forget to treat yourself. Go get that cupcake, go let yourself play that video game. Do something to reward yourself for your hard work.
“Learn to write when you aren’t comfortable.” – Cory Doctorow: I had the awesome opportunity to introduce Cory during a little Q&A panel at New York Comic Con last year, and one of the questions I asked him had to do with how he does so much. Freelance articles, Boing Boing, his awesome novels. Where does he find the time?
He discussed how many writers have their routines, going to this coffeeshop or that, needing to have this drink or this meal. Things that were very specific to their writing ritual. His advice? Get rid of that, learn to write when you aren’t cozy and comfortable. When things are rough. Get the words out and don’t limit yourself.
“It’s not just you.” – Dahlia Adler: Dahlia is one of my favorite book Internet people. You can find her over on her wonderful blog and writing for Barnes & Noble. She’s written some stellar YA novels.
Back in November she wrote a great blog post entitled It’s Not Just You, where she talks about the struggles many writers have. Seeing peers get book deals and agents, struggling with writing that debut book, panicking over reviews and sweating over book blurbs. It’s tough, some of those struggles. Wrestling with envy and jealousy. Remember to take a breath, and remember, it’s not just you.
“Write what you want to know. – Ben H. Winters: I’ve had the joy of working on Ben H. Winters’ books over the past five years at Quirk Books, where I’m the social media / marketing guy. The Last Policeman remains one of my favorite novels ever, not just a favorite book I’ve worked on. Ben’s also been a great friend, frequently asking about my writing life.
When he was busy promoting the third book in his Last Policeman trilogy, he was asked about the worst advice authors often dish out. “Write what you know” was his pick. Instead, he encourages people to “write what you want to know” and have that inform your work. Explore new people, places. Satisfy that curiosity.
Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.
And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can’t escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.
But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.
Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.
Eric Smith takes you on a fast-paced fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being differentâ€¦only to discover that destiny is more than skin deep.