5 People

We are an amalgam of the five people we spend the most time with. If they habitually complain, we complain. If they habitually exercise, we exercise. Their attitude and lifestyle matches matches ours—for better or worse.

This applies equally to writing. Our attitude toward writing matches that of the five writers we spend the most time with. Make a list of them and then consider their attitude toward writing; do they find it torturous or enjoyable? Do they believe they can earn a living from their work, or not?

Do they study the craft? I’m not asking whether they’ve bought a bunch of books about writing. I mean, have they studied those books and applied what they’ve learned to masterworks? Have they tried to incorporate what they’ve learned into their own writing? Do they attend seminars, in person or online?

Have they published anything? Do they want to?

It doesn’t matter what the answers to these questions are (there’s no right or wrong here), but knowing the answers is vital. It’s the only way you’ll know whether you’re mixing with the people who are right for you.

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women