In this Episode:
Julie Hennrikus is on the show today sharing her best tips and resources to become a published fiction writer. Julie is the author of 8 mystery books and is also a passionate advocate of artists which led her to Found Your Ladders, a company dedicated to giving artists the information they need to be successful in their careers.
People are resistant to owning their desire to be an artist. Julie says that’s because artists create from a need to express and for a love for their work and it isn’t as valued in our society in the United States because it is considered frivolous vs other industries.
In the United States we reinforce this by not funding the arts and cutting budgets for the arts. So it is important to own your passion for this space and to pursue it in spite of the perception of what that means to others or a society.
Step One to begin: Get better at the artistry. Remember that every artistic pursuit is an apprenticeship.
Know that the first draft of your novel is going to be terrible.
There is no one way to do your writing process. Do what feels right to you.
Julie uses index cards, different color pens, post its and pad of paper. You have a contract with your reader – you are going to give them enough clues but have to trick them.
Other people write spontaneously. It’s up to you what makes most sense.
Julie believes in writing every day. You need to commit to a daily practice.
You can have a page count or a time count per day. Some writers take a walk to keep the writing process going.
Start writing and then you can edit them. Then you can find an agent. If an agent rejects you it is because they can’t sell your book.
Once you finish the first book, write the second book.
Step Two: Get connected to other writers – you don’t have to belong to a writing group. You can join a groups of writers. For example, Sisters in Crime – is a group that Julie belongs to that supports mystery authors.
Find people who support you in what you are writing and who don’t try to rewrite your stuff to sound like them.
Start going to conferences, start being in that world.
Step Three: You need to understand how to be published.
Be gracious with rejections.
Go to writing conferences. Look for conferences where you can pitch agents like Grub Street in Boston.
Go to readings.
You have to care about your story and be ready to talk about your story.
Pitchfest – to learn how to pitch your work.
Julie’s best tips:
- Don’t let perfection be the better of the good
- Find your support team
- Dream – what’s the goal?
Yourladders.com – Julie’s online company to support artists
Resources Mentioned (Books + App)
On Writing by Steven King
Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron
Plot Perfect: How to Build Unforgettable Stories Scene by Scene by Paula Munier
Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott
Scrivener – writer’s tool
This episode was sponsored by Design a Life You Love, A Woman’s Guide to Living a Happier and More Fulfilled Life. My book includes 52 inspirations, one for every week of the year, each with practical tips to guide you to self-love and success on your own terms. It’s a short book that you can read in about an hour, but includes life lessons that will last a lifetime.
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