One of our local authors (and sweet hat-maker), Donna is currently doing a blog tour to promote her Dragonwine series. As part of the tour, she’s running a giveaway for a print copy of the first book, Shatterwing. Winners will be drawn from people who comment during the blog tour. So leave a comment to be in to win.

Today, for the guest post, I asked Donna for five pieces of advice she’d give to her younger self about writing…

  1. I first had the thought to write when I was 19 or so. I stopped myself because I wasn’t smart enough and I had a young family. I would tell my younger self to go for it. I had so many stories throughour my life that kept me in my head. If I had written them down, I’d be an amazing writer now. You don’t have to be smart in the academic sense to write and there’s such a thing as research. It’s the story that counts. So yeah forget the self doubts younger me. Go for it. Also, you can write in the gaps in your life. You don’t need a clean slate. I studied with young kids so I could have written too.
  2. Related to number one. Pursue your dreams younger me. Don’t  let your sorry self talk you out of doing things, like exploring your talents. Self doubt and low self esteem have no place in your life. You need to make your own life and future and go for it.
  3. Read, read and read. Read for fun. Read to learn. Read to research. All these are useful when writing. Eventually your brain will soak it all up. Research can give you ideas either for stories or world building. It all helps.
  4. Write, write, write. Learn by your mistakes. Improve on your mistakes. Keep trying. Take classes. Do what you have to do to be a better writer. Don’t listen to husbands, mothers, siblings, friends who tell you you will never make it. Only you decide if you are going to make it. You have to be in it to win. You can’t get published if you haven’t written anything.
  5. Keep notebooks, diaries or journals and put your thoughts, ideas in there. Because younger me, you will get older and that fantastic memory of yours will begin to fail. Also, notes can help you form stories, record ideas and work stuff out.

Now that I’ve written these five things I can think of more! One last thing you might like to think about younger me. Balance! Try to balance your passions with your relationships. It’s not all or nothing. You can have both. Just be measured about it. Oh and there’s more…it’s okay to write fanfiction. If something inspires you to write a story then go for it. My first idea was a Star Wars story. I have no idea what it was about now except Han Solo was in it. But I was reading tie in fiction at the time.