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Seven lessons from Robin Benway for aspiring writers

June 19, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Author Robin Benway
Author Robin Benway (Robin Benway )

Robin Benway has something to say to aspiring writers. The author of the young adult novels "Also Known As," "Audrey, Wait?" and "The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June" recently spoke to students in the MFA program at UC Riverside's Palm Desert program. She was asked what advice she'd give to the hopeful writers there, but didn't manage to say everything she would have liked.

Now she's written up her thoughts; here are seven sage recommendations.

1. If you’re writing your first book and don’t have a publisher yet, enjoy this time. Never again will you be able to spend so much time with your characters without the stress of expectations.

2. Sign with an agent who returns your calls and emails promptly, works for a reputable agency and is interested in repping your next books, not just your current one.

3. The hard part is not writing and selling your first book. It’s writing and selling your second book.

4. Making money doing something you love is amazing, but monetizing something you love can be difficult. Learn to place a value on your work besides its financial worth.

5. It’s OK to hate writing. Everyone has bad days. Even dream jobs are nightmares sometimes.

6. Receiving fan mail will never not be amazing.

7. GoodReads is an amazing resource for authors and readers. That being said, do not read your reviews there. Ever.

In fact, Benway has even more advice -- there are 13 recommendations total, all posted on her blog.


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