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The Ultimate Writer’s Guide for the Novice Author

September 6, 2015
If you really want to be a writer, don't let anybody or anything discourage you. (image via wikimedia)

If you really want to be a writer, don’t let anything discourage you. (image via wikimedia)

An Ultimate Writer’s Guide is not about giving advice.  Writers can get advice all over the internet.  An Ultimate Writer’s Guide is about discussing what’s in store for novice authors without discouraging authors or scaring them off.

It’s true, being a novice author can be tough.  The money might be nonexistent.  Since most writers don’t make much money from writing, almost all of them have to work full-time jobs, and that means writers don’t have much time for writing.  Even with blogs and social media, there’s no guarantee that a writer will be able to build an audience.  Despite these challenges, being a writer can be worth the time and effort.

The money issue isn’t everything, but it can’t be ignored.  Even with easy self-publishing and ebooks that don’t cost anything to create, it’s still difficult to make a profit off of writing.


4 Reasons Why Most Writers Don’t Make Much Money

(image via Wikimedia)

Writing might not get you a lot of this. (image via Wikimedia)

Last year was a financial disaster if you look only at what I made from my writing.  I think my ebooks pulled in about $10.00 last year.  That’s okay because I hadn’t expected to make much, and evidently, I’m not alone.  An article in/at The Guardian shows that most writers (depending on how you define “most”) earned less than $1,000 from their writing last year, and you can’t really do much with that over the course of a year.  I don’t know what percentage earned $10.00 or less.  Maybe I don’t want to know.

Last year, famous rich author Elizabeth Gilbert said writing was “f*cking great.”  That was easy for her to say because she’s “f*cking rich” (I quoted myself there).  I make next to nothing from writing, and I still think writing is “f*cking great.”  I think I have more credibility on this issue than she does.  But even though writing is great, I know that I probably won’t make much money (I hope I’m wrong) for four basic reasons.

Read more here!


Even though most writers don’t make much money, writers write anyway, and why not?  When you think about it, there has never been a better time to be a writer!

5 Reasons Why It’s Great To Be a Writer Today

He’s grinning because he hasn’t noticed any of his mistakes yet. (image via wikimedia)

He’s grinning because he hasn’t noticed any of his mistakes yet. (image via wikimedia)

It’s easy for most writers to be negative.   It’s tough to make enough money to earn a living.   We’re never satisfied with what we’ve written.  No matter how many people read and respond to our work, it’s never enough.  But even with these challenges, it’s better to be a writer today than it’s ever been.

  1. Writing is physically easier than it’s ever been.

Authors used to have to physically hold a pencil or a pen and physically write out each word on a sheet of paper.  Even worse, back in the really old days, writers had to dip quills into ink and then got beaten by monks if they made a mistake.

I’m not sure that ever really happened because there’s no ancient video footage of monks beating writers who made mistakes.  If there’s no video footage of an event, I’m skeptical that it ever happened.  Then again, back in the 1970s I saw nuns rap student knuckles with rulers, so if  nuns in the 1970s were doing that, I’m pretty sure in the really old days monks did much worse to young writers who made errors on their parchments.  After all, nothing inspires perfection like the threat of violence.

Read more here!


It may be a great time to be an author, but writing can still be frustrating and emotionally draining.  Sometimes writers need some encouragement that doesn’t come from family and friends.  Writers want words of wisdom from those who have been successful.  But beware!  Sometimes writing advice from famous authors can backfire!


5 Famous Quotes About Writing That Might Be Evil

“The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.”- Stephen King
Then why did I learn about them in the first place? (image via Wikimedia)

When a famous author writes a quote about writing, aspiring authors pay attention. After all, nobody knows more about writing than a famous author. Some quotes about writing have become so widely known that they’re almost accepted without second thought. But what if these famous quotes were meant to be misleading? What if the famous authors were just messing with us? What if famous authors were toying with our emotions and fragile egos? What if these famous authors were just… evil?

Below are five famous quotes about writing that MIGHT be evil:

QUOTE #1 “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”- Ernest Hemingway

Read more here!


It’s easy for famous writers to come up with quotes about writing because they’re famous and they’ve made lots of money.  But maybe writers who haven’t made money can contribute something to the discussion as well.


What Makes You a Writer?

You might be a writer if you use this, but you also might want to update your technology. (image via Wikimedia)

You might be a writer if you use this, but you also might want to update your technology. (image via Wikimedia)

I don’t talk about my writing much.  Nobody  I know asks me about my writing because I haven’t told anybody I know that I write. If I told people that I wrote a blog and ebooks, then they would want to talk about my writing (or feel like they were obligated to talk about my writing when they didn’t really want to, and I don’t want to put them in that position). I don’t mind writing about what I write, but I don’t like to talk about what I write. I’ve had bad experiences talking about my writing.

Twenty years ago, I (semi-pretentiously) said I was a writer or wanted to be a writer, and that led to a bunch of awkward conversations. I’d explain my projects/ideas, and they always sounded lame when I tried to describe them. For example, I once wrote a manuscript about a private detective who pretended to be a psychic. He used his notoriety to drum up business, but it also got him into trouble, like when his predictions turned out to be wrong. Even though I liked my idea, and parts of the book were pretty good, I hated talking about it at social gatherings where I barely knew the people I was talking to. Eyebrows would go up.

“Psychic detective?” they’d ask.

“Fake psychic,” I said.

“Then how does he solve crimes?”

Read more here!


Even if a novice author doesn’t get rich or famous, writing can be awesome!  Receiving feedback, exchanging ideas, and counting stats is a lot more productive than sitting around watching television or playing video games.  It MIGHT even be more productive than reading (but I know a lot of people disagree with me about that).

Yes, writing can be frustrating (even if you don’t bleed).   Yes, it can be time-consuming.  But no matter what the challenges of being an amateur writer might be, it beats not writing at all.


What do you think?  What makes writing so great?  Why is writing worth the time and effort (even if you don’t make money from it)? What writing quotes help you the most?


I wrote a story.  I read it to my class.  And then a bunch of weird stuff happened.

Now available on Amazon!

Only 99 cents on the Amazon Kindle!

  1. Great piece. I have an aversion to writing quotes, although I do think that Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ contains some valuable advice (advice he perhaps should follow). I suppose the only advice I think is invaluable is the adage: Write Every Day. Only because for the longest time I wrote nothing, and when I finally convinced myself to start agin, it was tough because I was out of practice. I haven’t written any fiction for a while but I still write every day, mostly blog stuff or some other freelance stuff, and I think that by keeping up with it, when I get back to fiction (as I will eventually but cannot right now because i am in a funk) that writing nonfiction everyday will help.

    Also, of course, read. You can’t hope to write well if you don’t read books. And they needn’t be ‘good books’.

    But the best writing advice I ever heard was from E Annie Proulx who wrote ‘Writing what you know doesn’t mean writing about your boring life’

    • “…although I do think that Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ contains some valuable advice (advice he perhaps should follow).”-

      Ha ha! I’ve heard that Stephen King doesn’t follow his own advice anymore, but I guess he’s still doing something right.

      That Prouix quote is pretty good!

  2. I just bought the new book and am looking forward to reading it. You’re a great writer. By the way, did you ever do anything else with Literary Girlfriend? You need to make that into a novel or screenplay and get an agent for it. That story really has potential, I think.

  3. Nycke the Poet permalink

    It’s so crazy when I see writing doesn’t really earn money. It seems to keep being repeated a lot these past couple years though, but I did make about $20 last year with my indie publishing. I was hoping to double it this year but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

  4. R. M. Donaldson permalink

    Thanks for sharing. That is a very good piece. It’s true. But it goes back to the core idea I have about reading and writing. A man who never reads lives one life, but the reader lives a thusand lives. When you write, you live even more because you create so many different version of what happens. So if you don’t make money, you make something better. You make yourself a better, more educated, more well-rounded and a more experienced person. I wrote a paper for school about that idea. It helps us be better people. We gain far more than money from writing. Money is just a bonus!

  5. angshumandutta22 permalink

    There are burrs, eventually there will always be burrs; but writers are special breeds of people who dare try to explain emotions on the paper.. As long as writing makes me happy, emotionally, I find no reason to stop.. And it’s in a way, to ponder about a line that nobody has ever thought, that will be my own quote, but it pays off (not in monetary terms though) .. Good piece..

  6. Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
    Are you an “Aspiring Writer”?

    Perhaps today’s re-blog will help………

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  1. The Ultimate Writer’s Guide for the Novice Author | Splendid Tree
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