Tips on Writing
"I believe that writing sets us free. When we write we expand our vision beyond our current world and open ourselves up to possibilities that were hidden past the horizon. Writing lets us see through different eyes, hear with a different understanding, know people and places with different hearts, and learn. Writing is learning and both are a never-ending process of growth. The more you discover about others, the more you'll know about yourself. This all comes from writing."
On Teaching Writing
"Teaching writing is a gentle art. Through constant daily practice of a variety of skill stretching exercises, the writer learns the craft. It's also a tough discipline that takes a kind of jumping in with both feet. It takes time, energy, persistence, and patience to become a genuine wordsmith. It takes a love of words both as a writer but also as a reader."
On Selling Writing
"For a great many people, writing for themselves and their family is enough, and they should be commended for leaving such a beautiful legacy that will inspire future generations.
"For others, they want to publish out in the larger world. They want to sell their writing. For those people, it takes more than energy, persistence, and patience. It takes courage, the courage to keep writing and sending it out no matter how many times you're rejected. It takes courage to keep going even when the universe has kicked you when you're down. If you believe and do everything possible to help yourself succeed, something will come your way. I can only go by my own experience.
"I see more writers, especially new writers, distraught over rejection slips. I want you to know this. Unless there is something relevant written on them, they don't mean anything. The slush pile reader could have had a bad day and just emailed the standard rejection email. Print out and put these letters in a file in the event you need them to prove to the tax people you've been a writer all this time. Put these form letters that could have been written to anyone in that file and forget them. The odds are no one at that address read your story or book, so why be offended by a form letter. Don't waste your energy over it.
"If, however, someone wrote on the letter to try again. Do send them your best next work as soon as possible, and send a cover letter thanking them and that you are trying again as they suggested with this work. Some rejection letters may ask you to change something and send it back. Again do that as rapidly as possible and include a letter thanking them for their advice and that you've made the changes. Once you have opened a communication like that with the person who signed that letter, keep writing and sending your work to them. Keep refining your work and sending it. It may be your beginning to selling books.
It was for me."