I got a great email today from a devoted reader - and an aspiring writer. He asked advice on how to get started, and on what to do with his book once he's done with it. My response, I hope, could be helpful to other writers out there:
My advice is simple: write, write, and write some more. At this point, I wouldn’t focus on the end game – you’ve got a long ways to go before you have to worry about getting a book noticed. That’s sort of like a freshman in college asking about job recruitment after graduation. Right now, your focus should be honing your craft, and spending as many hours as possible in that chair. The market will have shifted so much by the time you’re ready to send out your manuscript that planning for it now would be a waste of time. Plus, you’ll need to get in touch with writing as its own process – as an end in itself. Only when you focus on the actual work – rather than the marketing to come - will you be able to enjoy yourself and grow as a writer.
All best of luck – and keep writing.