Sunday, September 4

Dean Wesley Smith: The secret of making it as a professional writer

Dean Wesley Smith gives Heinlein's Rules of Writing:
1. You must write.

2. You must finish what you start.

3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.

4. You must put it on the market.

5. You must keep it on the market until sold.

Then he said, “The above five rules really have more to do with how to write fiction [...] but they are amazingly hard to follow — which is why there are so few professional writers and so many aspirants, and which is why I am not afraid to give away the racket!

I found these rules and followed them when I got serious about writing in 1982. So did my wife before I knew her. So did so many more of my successful writer friends.

As Heinlein said, the rules are amazingly hard to follow.

And for those of you who are looking for a secret to making it as a professional writer, Heinlein put it right out there in 1947. And it hasn’t changed, unlike most everything else in this business.
Read more of Dean's article here: Heinlein's Business Rules


  1. 1-3 and I'm doing fine. 4 & 5? Yeah. That requires further- tweaking.

  2. Lately I've been doing okay with 4 & 5 but 1-3 are wiping the floor with me. Want to trade? ;)

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. We could swap- I would be getting the better end of the deal, though. My finished stuff is not up to your level.

  4. lol Oh, I don't know, you seem to be doing pretty good. ;)


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