If you could tell your younger writer self something what would it be? What advice would you give someone who is just starting their writing journey?
Jessie: I would tell myself to trust my process and my own voice. I would tell myself it is my way of being in the world and thus is mine to experience in my own way along any road that suits me. My timeline, passions and experiences are all fine just as they are.
Julie: I would tell myself that there aren’t any rules for how to write. That writing is a craft that you get better at over time, with lots of practice. That writing will bring you unimaginable joy, so don’t listen to the folks who poo-poo your efforts.
Sherry: Don’t give up! Rejection is part of the process and you have to have a thick skin. That pretty much applies to everything in life, right? Listen to your gut, but if everyone is saying the same thing about your work take that into consideration. It took me a long time to get published and I have two and a half books in the proverbial drawer. But I learned a lot through writing them.
Barb: A few years ago, after the first couple of Maine Clambake Mysteries were published, I participated in a really fun panel, organized by Julie, at the Boston Book Festival. It was one of those absolutely beautiful fall days we get in Boston, and after my stint in the Sisters in Crime New England booth, I sat out in the sun on a bench in Copley Square, listening to the music and taking in the beauty of Trinity Church. In that moment, I thought to myself, “If your twenty-year-old self could see you now, she would feel pretty good.” So I guess my older self would tell my younger self, “Relax. It will happen for you. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride.”
Edith: I would tell myself, “Don’t listen to those who scold you about the terrible odds of getting a publication contract or the naysayers warning you how hard it is to land an agent. Somebody’s going get published, and it might as well be you.” Actually, I did tell my slightly younger self that ten years ago – and now look where I am.
Readers: What would you tell your younger self?