If you have a penchant for writing, you should definitely consider becoming an author. However, not every story receives massive acclaim right away. Famous authors like Robert Laney have managed to gain massive success as authors simply because they stuck to their roots. Laney founded 1st Air, an on-line enabler of alternative business and first-class air travel solutions. On top of that, he also wrote Involuntary Reroute, a series of books that includes Involuntary Reroute and I-Reroute. If you want to follow in the footsteps of people like Robert Laney, here are a few tips that will help.
Start with Short Stories
For the acclaimed author, it is a mistake to start writing novels. “The problem with novels is that you can spend a year writing one and it does not look good since you have not learned to write yet.” Instead, Laney advises writing a large number of short stories, small stories that, although not of great quality, serve to practice. “I challenge you to write 52 bad stories. It cannot happen”. After so many stories, you will eventually write one that will truly capture the readers’ hearts and minds.
Do not try to imitate your favorite Authors
The author of Involuntary Reroute cites as one of the mistakes of his youth as a writer trying to imitate the authors he admired, among which he quotes Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle and HG Wells. “You cannot be any of them,” he says, “you can love them but you cannot beat them.” Avoid imitating authors who have managed to climb to the very top. Instead, try and develop your own writing style.
Learn from the Great Storytellers
Roald Dahl, Guy de Maupassant, John Cheever, Nigel Kneale , Edith Wharton, and John Collier are some of the authors that Laney considers teachers of short stories, to which every aspiring writer must read and study. He also advises moving away from the most recent stories such as those published by the New Yorker magazine, which he says “lack metaphor” and only portray everyday life.
Laney sees himself not as a great born novelist, but as a “collector of metaphors”. For this reason he recommends that the amateur writer “engulf” quality literary works, in order to expand the tools with which he can then create his own. For instance, he suggests reading, every night, a story, a poem and an essay on any subject, he recommends especially those by George Bernard Shaw. According to him, with this routine, you will end up “full of ideas and metaphors” in your head, which, combined with your perspective and life experiences, will generate new metaphors and ideas.
Stay away from friends who do not believe in you
If you have people in your life who make fun of your desire to be a writer, “call them today and say goodbye to them,” says Laney. At the end of the day, it’s all about sticking to what you think is right, and as long as you are passionate, you will succeed.