Writing by Candlelight

Dorothy's Blog

Advice for Wanna-Be Authors

This is from a talk I gave to a high school group in November:

An Author’s job consists of writing.                 P writing blue

Assess your writing skills:
Are you curious?
Do you love people?
Do you have strong computer skills?
Do people like what you write?
Do you try to write three or four times a week?
These are all necessary qualities for becoming a successful Author.

Writing Options (Investigate these fields to see what you like to write)
Creative (books), medical records, legal, technical, screenwriting, journalism, or you can develop marketing material for authors.
There are many different types of writing too: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, books, magazine articles, pamphlets, newspaper, and advertisements.

Preparation for this job:
♦ Community College courses and on-line courses can help you improve mechanics of writing which can help how you express yourself on paper.
♦ You do not need a college degree to write, but you might need one for your day job until you start making money writing.
♦ Continue to learn, read many kinds of books, take classes, attend lectures, and join on-line groups

The average writer today makes about $10,000. a year. Best selling Authors like: Danielle Steele, Stephen King, John Grisham may make from $80.000 to $250,000 a year. So that is why you will need a day job until you are famous. Now JK Rowling doesn’t count.

Network by:
♦ Establishing a website, Facebook page, and an on-line blog.
♦ Talk to newspaper editors. (make great contacts this way)
♦ Also, join a writers group and go on writer’s retreats.

♦ It takes many years of practice, study, and dedication
♦ Read as many books as you can, especially in your target group (genre you want to write in)
♦ Learn all you can about publishing
♦ Build your skills by: writing each day, do research, find ideas that are all          around
♦ Know the market
♦ Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators  (SCBWI)
♦ Get an agent if you intend to go the traditional route
♦ Just do it and~~Never ever give up!!!

Best Part about being an Author is:
♦ Being able to write
♦ Finishing a book
♦ Starting a new book you’ve been dreaming about
♦ Seeing a new book cover for the first time
♦ Hitting the Best Seller List. Woo Hoo!

Worse part about being an Author is:
♦ Isolation – working alone so much
♦ No benefits – health care and retirement
♦ Working hard to meet deadlines
♦ Continuous rejections letters
♦ You will not make a lot of money

Tips: read, write, edit, and re-write

Author Book Signing at Barnes and Noble



  1. As i writer, I’ve discovered that it’s a very “bi-polar-like” career. The lows are depressing, lonely, embarrassing, stupid. However, the highs are better than anything else. I am more passionate about writing than anything I’ve done. I feel like I really have achieved something worthwhile in life. It’s rewarding.

    These latter positives are what I remind myself of during the bad times … doesn’t mean i always believe myself.

    • Thanks for reading my blog. I agree the “highs” are fabulous and they just keep getting better!

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