I am a quietly opinionated person. Here are ten things I believe about the business of writing:
1. A good story is important, but it can’t overcome poor writing.
2. Good writing is important, but it can’t overcome a boring or otherwise inadequate story.
3. Every writer needs a good editor. Even if you chair the English department at Yale, you still need a good editor.
4. Poorly edited work has the potential to ruin even the best writing and storytelling.
5. There is no single form of writing that is superior to another. Novels are not superior to short stories; creative non-fiction is not superior to fiction; poetry is not superior to everything. These are just different forms.
6. Writing in different forms and genres will help a writer hone his craft and expand his voice.
7. The quality of the writing is a weak predictor of commercial success.
8. I admire a number of authors but none of them influence my writing. I have my own voice.
9. Success and recognition comes in increments as a writer builds his reputation and body of work.
10. There is no guarantee of financial success; in fact, the chances of financial success are not particularly good. Don’t do it for the money.