WORDS FROM THE WISE/PART 16 – Kathe Koja
There aren’t many writers who have achieved what Kathe Koja has achieved in her career (this includes a Locus Award and PKD nomination). In this weeks ‘Words from the Wise’ Kathe imparts seven simple points which have served her well over the years. One of the most interesting and, dare I say it, wise pieces of assistance she offers us here involves keeping a hold of your old work. It might be utterly cringe worthy delving into that database of archived stinkers – but the more you cringe, the more you may have developed as a writer…
The question posed to each author is – “A young author comes to you seeking advice. They’re riddled with insecurities and completely overwhelmed by the publishing industry. What are your Words from the Wise?”
KK – Stop worrying about the publishing industry, unless you plan on making it your career. You’re going to be, you are, a writer. That’s entirely different.
Read as much as you write, read promiscuously, passionately, thoroughly, critically.
Find what works for you, what concantenation of schedule and desire makes it possible to get your writing done, then stick to that. Every day. Every day.
Keep some of your old work. If it begins to embarrass or infuriate you when you reread it, rejoice, you’re further down the path!
Remember it is a path, never a destination – you want always to be traveling, improving, not arriving at some dead pinnacle of “success.”
Honor your mentors. Help your colleagues. Encourage the ones who come after you.
Love the words that make the worlds you make.