Believe in yourself

When you start out, try to find a good mentor. A good one makes the process about you, not them. You want them to guide you, but they need to let you grow and find your own voice.
 
Back when I was an undergrad, one of my classmates took a creative writing course with an instructor that he spoke very highly of. I wasn’t a big fan of his style, but another professor guided me to this instructor after reading a short story I wrote.
 
Her advice was to take the science fiction out of my science fiction story. You should write about what you know, like delivering pizzas. Being a college student. I thanked her and didn’t take the class.
 
I took the same story, made no revisions, and sent it to Omni magazine. At the time they were publishing bleeding edge sci-fi and highly respected. They rejected me, but sent a personalized rejection. The first one I ever got. Being young and dumb I didn’t rewrite the story – I needed to work on something else. I don’t kick myself for it, but it was encouraging.
 
While I agree with the instructor’s point – you should be willing to push yourself, and you should try to seek out new approaches and ways to tell a story – taking away the very things that drew you to the story in the first place is terrible advice, especially to an emerging writer. My best mentors never coddled me: at times there were boots in the ass, but they never tried to change what made my stories mine.
 
The bottom line here: don’t be afraid to stand your ground. You need to believe in yourself, like nobody else does.




This writing advice comes from Tim Morgan, author Witch City: Cardinal.
 

Where Tim’s book is sold

 

Tim Morgan