Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Top Ten Tips for Writers by Kathleen Fuller

It’s another Writer’s Journey Wednesday - the day at Seriously Write dedicated to sharing tips, as well as what authors have learned about the writing life while traveling on their own journey. Today we welcome author Kathleen Fuller as she shares her top ten tips for writers.

Ten Top Tips for Writers

This past January marked my tenth year as a writer. Over the past decade I’ve learned a lot about the craft and business of writing. I’d like to share with you my top ten writing tips, and I hope they help you as you continue on your writing journey.

10) Realize you can’t do it alone. It’s true that writing is a solitary profession, but it’s important not to isolate yourself from others or fail to recognize those that help you reach your publishing goal. This includes your family, critique partners, writer friends, editors and publishers, and most of all, God.

9) Be teachable. When I started writing my first book, it didn’t take long for me to realize it was really bad. I knew I had to learn the craft of writing. I immediately checked out writing books from the library, joined a writer’s group, and found a critique group. Even after writing twenty books there is still so much for me to learn about the craft and the business of publishing. Always be open to learning.

8) Be patient. This lesson was hard for me to learn. Publishing moves very slowly, especially when you’re waiting to hear from an agent or editor about a proposal or a manuscript. Working on other projects makes the wait go faster.

7) Learn the rules. Writing has rules, especially if you’re writing popular fiction. Know the rules for your genre regarding characterization, prose, POV, and plot.

6) Don’t be afraid to break the rules. This sounds hypocritical, especially considering tip #7. But once you’ve learned the rules you can bend or even break them to make your story and voice unique and interesting.

5) Go to writer’s conferences. This is especially important if you’re an unpublished author. Conferences offer educational and networking opportunities you won’t find anywhere else. A couple of conferences I recommend are ACFW ( and RWA (

4) Read, read, read. The best way to learn how to write is to read. Don’t just read for pleasure, although that’s also a great way to help learn your craft. Take your favorite stories and novels and analyze them. Why does the plot keep you turning pages? Why are you invested in the characters? Use a highlighter and take notes.

3) Read writer, editor, and agent blogs. There are a lot of good blogs out there filled with valuable information about writing craft and business. Bookmark your favorites and visit them often.

2) Develop a thick skin. Writing is a scary thing. Writers expose themselves on the page, and they open themselves up to criticism. It’s important to put criticism in perspective. Don’t take rejection letters personally. Resist the temptation to respond to a negative review. Above all, learn from the criticism and apply it to improve your writing.

1) Don’t give up. Persistence is the number one quality you need as a writer. Even if you’ve had fifty rejection letters in the past month, press on. If you give up, you’ll never reach your goal.

Best-selling author Kathleen Fuller writes Amish adult and YA fiction for Thomas Nelson. Her latest book is a YA novel, A Summer Secret, which is the first book in The Mysteries of Middlefield Series. In September, A Hand to Hold, book three in her adult series Hearts of Middlefield, will be released. Kathleen, her husband James and their three children live in Northeast Ohio. She loves to hear from her readers, and you can contact her through her website:
or through her blog:
For more information about Kathleen’s novels visit her website or the online community Amish Living (

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