Writers FAQ – Answering all the questions about writing

One of the hardest things about being a writer is trying to figure out what to do next.  How to make progress?  How to get published?

Luckily, I’ve prepared an exhaustively comprehensive FAQ for writers.  Whether you are brand new to the craft, or literally, Stephen King, the below guide will answer all your questions.  Let’s get started.


Q – So, I’m thinking of writing.  What’s the best way to get started?
A – You should write a book.

Q – I wrote a book (yes!) and submitted it to a ton of agents.  None of them were interested (shit!).  What now?
A – You should write another book.

Q – I wrote a book (yes!), and got an agent (nice! yes)!  Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a publisher (shit!).  Now I’m not clear what to do next.
A – You should write another book.

Q – I wrote a book (yes!), got an agent (nice!  yes!), got a publisher (hell yes!) but my book didn’t sell very well (shit!).  Now what?
A – You should write another book.

Q – I wrote a book (yes!), got an agent (nice! yes!), got a publisher (hell yes!) and my book sold just a shit load of copies and was turned into a movie starring Matt Damon (holy crap!).  Also, I’m Andy Weir.  What should I do next?
A – You should write another book.  Oh, you did.

Q – I’ve been writing for ages, but nothing seems to be working.  I’m getting really discouraged.  It seems like no matter how hard I try, I can’t make any progress.
A – Okay, quit.

Q – But I don’t want to quit.  I love writing, and I want to be successful.
A  – Okay.  You should write another book.

Q – I wrote a couple books, but I’m not sure I’m improving.  What can I do to get better?
A – You should write another book.

Q – Everyone who reads my book says it’s terrible. Should I stop writing?
A – No, you should write another book.

Q – Everyone who reads my book says it’s wonderful.  Should I stop writing?
A – No, you should write another book.

Q – I’m self-published, but my books aren’t selling very well.  Do you have any tips on –
A – You should write another book.

Q – Okay, I get it.  I totally get the conceit of this piece.  You’re saying that the essence of being a writer comes down to writing and no matter what circumstances you find in your path, ultimately, all you can do is the one thing that’s directly in your control, i.e. write.  I get it.  Honestly.  I get it.
A – Great.

Q – But seriously, I have genuine questions about how to market yourself in a world glutted by –
A – You should write another book.

Q – Oh my god, this is spectacularly not helpful
A – You should write a book about that.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been stuck in the middle of a book, but I am a finisher and cannot start another book until this one is edited and put to bed. So I wrote the final chapter because in a murder mystery you are expected to tie up all the loose ends. Now all I have to do is untie each knot and follow the loose end back to the chapters I couldn’t write. I’ll end up back in the middle but I will no longer be stuck…at least I think that’s how it will work.

  2. The bottom line is that no matter what or how well you write, the probability of you becoming a successful writer, that is, one who sells books, (> 1000 a year) is fractionally low.
    Which means if you’re writing to become successful, in all likelihood, you’re writing for the wrong reasons.
    Another reason, which is not predicated on commercial success, is to write for yourself, to express your ideas, ideas that JUST-HAVE-TO-COME-OUT. And, to write as a part of your legacy to your children and friends.
    And of course, to strive for excellence in this endeavor. I know I’ll never be successful, in the eyes of Amazon. But I can hone my skills as a writer to the point where I am proud of my novels. (Not there yet…)
    The same may apply to you — and — this takes the angst and pressure out of the equation.

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