Amy Clipston’s Advice for Aspiring Writers

Amy-Clipston

July 19 during my presentation at the University City Regional Library in Charlotte

On Sat., July 19, I spoke at the University City Regional Library in Charlotte, NC. During my presentation, an aspiring author asked me if I had any advice for her. Her question sparked an idea for this blog post. Below I’ve listed the methods I would recommend for aspiring authors.

Join a Writers’ Group

Find a group near you and socialize with other writers. You’ll have of fun and also learn a lot. If you’re not interested in attending local meetings, you always have the option of joining a virtual group. There are organizations that host discussion groups, and a few include American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Join the group that best fits your interest and needs and get connected.

Attend a Conference

If you have the money and the time, attend a writers’ conference, where you can network and attend instructional sessions that cover many aspects of writing and the publishing business. Conferences are fun and informative. If you don’t have the money or time to travel, then look for a local conference to attend.

Amy-Clipston2

July 19 during my presentation at the University City Regional Library in Charlotte

Find a Critique Partner

Don’t write in a vacuum; share your books with trusted friends. Your buddies will not only find your typos, but they may give you story ideas that you hadn’t considered and will make your plot even better. Find someone whom you trust to give constructive criticism. You may not always agree with your critique partner’s suggestions, but the comments may give you ideas for how to polish your book and make it even better.

Find Time to Read

I know what it means to be busy. I balance a day job, two active little boys, and my writing deadlines. However, when I’m between book deadlines, I like to read everything from Amish fiction to young adult to romance. While reading is fun, it’s also a way to improve your skills by seeing what techniques work (and sometimes don’t work) for other authors. Curl up with a book or listen to books on CD while you’re in the car or on the treadmill. Recently, I started downloading books to my phone and listening during my 2 hours spent in the car during my daily commute.

Keep Writing

It may sound silly, but writers need to write! Finish your novel and polish it as best you can before submitting it to an agent or editor. Your book represents your best work. Show a potential agent or editor that you’re eager to write for them.

Don’t Give Up

No matter what, believe in yourself and believe in your dream of holding your book in your hand! If you’ve been rejected by an agent or editor, don’t give up. I received plenty of rejection letters and I wanted to give up many times. I’m thankful for my family and my friends who told me to stop whining and keep writing.

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Amy Clipston (23 Posts)

Amy Clipston is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery novels. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and currently works for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina. Amy lives with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats.


Comments

  1. Awesome tips, Amy! I’m doing most of these (some are shared with my daughter, an amazing writer who needs to get published!). Thanks so much for the writing advice. God bless you!

  2. WOW! Thanks Amy! These are fantastic!

    Our local ACFW chapter apparently got too big so they closed it. I actually started my own group: (Nashville) NaNoWriMo Inspirational Authors (We may move beyond the NaNo part later…) However, I am a member of ACFW. YAY!

    I have attended two small conferences and I learned so much. Can not wait until one of the big ones is close enough that I can afford to go – I just can’t swing the $300+ on top of travel & hotel right now.

    At the moment mum is my critique partner. If she weren’t the absolute best at catching mistakes and over-used words, I’d look elsewhere but she is THE BEST!

    Oh my word – I read constantly…

    I’m currently editing my novel and I think it’s almost ready to actually let someone see it. PRAYING!

    You never truly fail until you stop trying! I will NEVER QUIT!

    These tips are super helpful! So many new authors have no idea how to get started or where to go from one to the next. You are a blessing to us!

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