Find a Trusted Brainstorm Buddy

My number one piece of advice for aspiring authors is to find a community. Easier said than done, I know. But having people you can talk to about the highs and lows of this business—and the highs and lows of the actual craft—will help in ways I cannot begin to describe.

Only other writers can truly understand why revising is hard or getting an agent is a huge deal or how frustrating it is when you’re stuck in your story.

Plus, when you need a friend to brainstorm with, then you’ve got options right there!

You can, of course, brainstorm with non-writers, but I’ve always found the input from writers who understand story significantly more valuable than the “everyday” people in my life. That said, take what you can get! Outside input of any kind can be helpful!

While it might be helpful if your trusted friend can read the book for you, it is definitely not necessary.

I am personally not comfortable letting my friends read early drafts—it feels like a burden to offload what I know is a disaster onto them! But some people don’t mind, and maybe your first drafts are cleaner than mine! 😉

But keep in mind, whether they read the book or you just give them the summary, you aren’t looking for a solution.

“Wait, Sooz, I’m not?”

No, dear writer. Sure, it would be great if you come out of a brainstorming session with an answer! But it’s also okay to only come out with only the first sparks of an idea.

Writing coach Becca Syme once told me to view it as “getting the ingredients for your elixir from your brainstorming” instead of “getting the whole elixir.” That way, there’s less pressure on the conversation to have an answer—less pressure for you and your writing friend!

You’re just getting ingredients for your elixir; you’re just letting your brain have fresh ideas so it can churn and develop them on its own.