Resources for Writers:

distant road

My best advice for writers and aspiring writers (and anyone who wants to be a writer but is afraid to try) is to push past the fear of failure. Fear of failing, of not being good enough or skilled enough or dedicated enough to write anything worthwhile, kept me from finishing a novel for a long time. Now I look at all the time I wasted being afraid and shake my head.

But that pushing past the fear of failure goes for more than just putting fingers to keyboard. It means daring to tell the stories that need telling. It means being true to your characters and not judging them. It means seeking out meaningful critique, critique from knowledgeable others who will care enough to tell you where you could tell a truer, more organic or more effective story -- or even that you need to work on your craft and mechanics for a while before attempting to find an agent or publisher. It means putting in the effort to become the best writer and storyteller you can be, and never giving up the quest to be better.

I also recommend reading. Reading in your favorite genre, reading outside your favorite genre, reading new and old books. Read. Read a lot. Not only can it help enrich your writing craft and love of stories, it will enrich your life, and it may even serve as inspiration. Besides, it's always good to know what's being published.

And learn patience. Writing takes time, and effort, and patience. It's seldom easy or fast. If you're not a patient person now, you will be more patient (or more tortured) by the time you are published.

A special note for teen and preteen writers:

If you want to write, love to write, need to write…then write. Write a lot. And read even more. Learn to love words, and to love revision. Write whatever it is in you to write. And find safe ways to share what you write, either with friends or with other writers. But don't forget to not write occasionally, so you can do other things. Those other things will make you a better writer. And might be fun, too.

And, while there are some fantastic younger authors, don't let anyone rush you into the often harsh business side of writing before you are ready. It'll be there when you are. If you are enjoying your writing projects, and learning your craft, there's value in that, in and of itself.