ROW80 Check-In 2 : Meg Cabot’s writing tips

Hello gentle reader,

It is already time for a second ROW80 check-in. My goals for this fourth round are as follows:

Write or edit every day

Editing – Finish my current round of editing for The Last Queen, get my manuscript critiqued and beat-read, then edit some more.

DONE: I finished another round of editing and sent The Last Queen to CPs and beta readers. I’m waiting to hear back from them.

Writing – Write a short story, and continue writing the first draft of The Cursed King

DONE : I worked on The Cursed King and added about 2000 words to my first draft.

So this was another good writing week for me: I did write or edit every day. Tuesday and Friday were once again tough (because I get home from work late on those days), but I still stuck to the routine. A big thank you to Lauren Garafalo, Julie Jordan Scott and Juliana Haygert for their support during our Twitter sprints!

This week I also managed to read two books again and I kept my blog alive with a post on word counts. Check it out if you want to discuss the relevance of limited word counts for writers. I also worked on my query letter and my synopsis. A big thank you to Craig Schmidt for his help.

Now, on to an inspiring story to keep us going this coming week. Today I’m quoting bestselling YA author Meg Cabot. I found the following on her website.

“It took me three years of sending out query letters every day to get an agent, and a year for her to find me a publisher. When my first book got published I was 30. I sent out several hundred of these letters before a single person ever asked to see the book I was trying to sell.

Some people say if you get anyone to look at your book at all, you are lucky. I believe that luck is 95% preparation and 5% opportunity. So basically…you have to make your own luck.

My advice to young writers is:

Write the kinds of stories you like to read. If you don’t love what you’re writing, no one else will, either.

Don’t tell people you want to be a writer. Everyone will try to talk you out of choosing a job with so little security, so it is better just to keep it to yourself, and prove them all wrong later.

You are not a hundred dollar bill. Not everyone is going to like you … or your story. Do not take rejection personally.

If you are blocked on a story, there is probably something wrong with it. Take a few days off and put the story on a back burner for a while. Eventually, it will come to you.

Read-and write-all the time. Never stop sending out your stuff. Don’t wait for a response after sending a story out…start a new story right away, and then send that one out! If you are constantly writing and sending stuff out (don’t forget to live your life, too, while you are doing this) eventually someone will bite!

It is nearly impossible to get published these days without an agent. The guide I used to get mine was called the Jeff Herman Guide to Agents, Editors, and Publishers. It was well worth the money I spent on it, since it lists every agent in the business and what he or she is looking for. It also tells you how to write a query letter, what to expect from your publisher, and all sorts of good stuff…a must buy for any aspiring author!

And above all, become a good listener. In order to write believable dialogue, you need to listen to the conversations of the people around you—then try to imitate them! So my advice is always to try to keeping quiet, listen only, and let other people to do the talking for a change. You’ll be surprised how much this will improve your writing skills (and how many people will think you’re a really sage person, when all you’re basically doing is spying on them).

Good luck, and keep writing! If I can do it, so can you!”

 How are you other ROWers doing? Here is the Linky to support each other!

12 thoughts on “ROW80 Check-In 2 : Meg Cabot’s writing tips

  1. Shah Wharton says:

    Great advice – and well done on your achievements! X

  2. Katy Bennett says:

    congrats, you’ve got a lot done this week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  3. Kat Morrisey says:

    Looks like you had a really productive week! Congratulations! I’m hoping to join in on some twitter sprints this week if my schedule allows. I love the twitter sprints.

    I love Meg Cabot and her advice, especially the one about rejection, struck a chord with me. I so need a thicker skin about my writing, though I am getting better than when I first started. Have a great week and maybe we’ll see each other for a ROW80 sprint!

  4. alberta says:

    well done with acheivements this week and links very interesting – bit daunting to see the word count gets higher and higher with G martin’s books I am just lining number three up to read! = ah well keep smiling:)

  5. Congratulations on keeping up with the routine! That’s so important.

    The quotes from Meg Cabot are great — thanks for sharing. Have a great week!

  6. What a great writing week you’ve had! I agree the best piece of writing advice is to keep writing. Write, write, write – and no matter what happens or how you feel about it, keep going. I love hearing advice from others who have been through it before and have seen results.

    • EM Castellan says:

      Hearing advice from published authors is what keeps me going when I think I should just give up on trying to get published and write for myself. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Great progress, my friend!
    I love when you share these stories, about the famous authors, of how it was hard for them too … it’s inspiring. Thanks for sharing!
    Have a great week!

  8. EM Castellan says:

    Thanks for your support guys 🙂 Hope you all have a great writing week!

  9. Em says:

    I love hearing about other writers and their advice! Great job on your goals and have a fantastic week!

  10. It sounds like you had a really good, productive week. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s