Sean Williams: advice for aspiring writers

By | September 11, 2007

In a recent LiveJournal post, author Sean Williams says that he finds it difficult to give advice to aspiring writers for a number of reasons. One of the main ones is that in this game, there aren’t any rules.

I ask all of my guests for that sort of advice, but it’s not because I’m expecting THE answer from them–and you shouldn’t either. Jaq, Wolfgang, and (soon!) Zia all take different approaches to their careers, so the tips that they offer will be different. You might try one piece of advice, find that it’s not working in your situation, and try another.

Sean’s own advice is succinct:

  1. Read a lot.
  2. Write a lot.
  3. Write what you love but be aware of the market.
  4. Define your version of success and take concrete steps towards achieving it.
  5. Be professional at all stages of your career.
  6. Listen to everyone.
  7. Be visible.
  8. Challenge yourself, always.
  9. Never believe you’ve figured it out, because everything changes.
  10. Work hard.

Take out the references to writing and that’s pretty good advice in general.

I can only add, and I cannot make this point strongly enough: Do not covet your neighbor’s ox.