Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Advice for the aspiring author…

During the Q&A portion of my keynote yesterday, I was asked what advice I had for an aspiring author who wanted to write her first book.

“Start it!” I said.

“Anything else?” she asked.

“Finish it!”

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That’s about the size of it. Anyhow, back to my very spontaneous advice of “START IT!” and “FINISH IT!”

People get so stopped up because they think they have to write the perfect piece of literary prose. Well, I give everyone permission to write prose that sucks. Just start, get something going, then clean it up later. Go for quantity, not quality, then edit like hell once you have finished a draft. When I was working on my novel, Mermaid Mambo, I went through periods when I couldn’t seem to get anything out of my head. I was uninspired. Then I read the book, No Plot, No Problem! which told me to stop sucking my thumb and just write a massive amount of words every day, for editing later.  Author Chris Baty‘s theory is that you write, write, write without worrying about quality, then quality will emerge. It is a theory that I now ascribe to. Just keep moving forward.

In that novel-writing process, I did produce a few sections that I would never want anyone to ever see, but they were easily deleted. Because of Baty’s advice, I finished the book.

I constantly meet people who tell me they want to write books. They ask me for advice and I always tell them that, if they will just write one single page a day, they’ll be done in a year. And, I tell them to buy The Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published and Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents. The publishing industry will give you brain damage, if you let it. Those books tell you the truth and guide you through the maze.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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